The Lone Ranger with fairly low expectations which is apparently a good thing based on the reaction from family and friends who went in with high expectations. Even though I generally enjoy Johnny Depp's characters, from the trailer I was expecting tons of cheese from his "Jack Sparrow turned zany Indian" paired up with the hapless cowboy. While this sounded entertaining and the trailer showed a fair amount of running, jumping and exploding action, I still wasn't expecting a 5 star movie. I'm not quite sure why.
The movie opens in 1933, which confused me at first until I quickly surmised that we were going to receive the story in flashback form. The first character we get to know is a young boy dressed up as the Lone Ranger wandering through a carnival museum of the old west. I actually really liked the kid they had playing that part. He wasn't the best actor but he had a lot of childish awe and wonder as he listened intently to the origin story of the Lone Ranger being presented him. I loved his wide-eyed amazement and questioning as aspects of the story played out. He made for a fun intermediary for the story.
The last 15-20 minutes of the movie truly were the best part. At that point we get the amped up William Tell Overture (as mixed by Hans Zimmer) and some madcap action sequences with the Ranger and Tonto chasing down the bad guys. The intensity and fun of that final set was just a ton of fun and well worth the unbalanced beginning.
Was the final action sequence enough to "save" the entire film? I guess it depends on just how "lost" the film was to you. If you, like me, go in with lowered expectations, you'll probably enjoy the movie and come out on a great high from the final scenes. If you go in with heightened expectations (like my wife and some other friends/family), the first 2/3 of the film may knock the entire franchise off its pedestal and leave a bad taste in your mouth that not even a great finale can redeem. Personally, I could take or leave the film generally. I felt like Johnny Depp did a good job, as usual. Arnie Hammer was entertaining but unbalanced. I would have liked some more screen time for Helena Bonham Carter. And on the whole I would have preferred the action more of the type shown in the finale as opposed to the starker action through the rest of the film. I could be talked into seeing the movie again...but without asking I would gladly seek out and watch the last ~15 minutes again and again. It was just a lot of fun.
3.5 out of 5 stars