"The Lone Ranger", which opens today, has already gotten some pretty negative reviews from critics, who say it's not so much that the film is bad; it's that it doesn't really understand what sort of beast it is.
From the get-go--pretty much as soon as those pictures emerged of Johnny Depp's costume, not to mention the fact that Depp is playing Tonto--many were skeptical of the plot. Taking an old televised western and bringing it to the big screen is tricky enough without bringing in all the trappings of a big-budget summer action flick, and many critics are saying that Gore Verbinski fell short.
According to The Wrap, "The Lone Ranger feels schizophrenic, a state of affairs that would be forgivable if it delivered as a post-modern comedy or as an exciting Western or even as an exhilaratingly brainless piece of summer entertainment. It is a drag as an action movie, it's not funny in its attempts at self-parody, and it feels like a Western made by people working off a checklist of tropes without ever really understanding the genre. [Director Gore] Verbinski and his writers have taken a promising idea and put a silver bullet in its head."
Variety says, "No longer simply the sidekick, Tonto gets top billing in Disney’s extravagant but exhausting reboot, whose vaguely revisionist origin story partners a heavily face-painted Johnny Depp with the blandly handsome Armie Hammer. Directed by “Pirates of the Caribbean’s” Gore Verbinski, this over-the-top oater delivers all the energy and spectacle audiences have come to expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production, but sucks out the fun in the process, ensuring sizable returns but denying the novelty value required to support an equivalent franchise."
Of course, there are a few people online who say they thoroughly enjoyed the film, but they seem to be in the minority at this point.
My "Lone Ranger" review: why is Tonto such a pathetic character, and what's with the demonic rabbit? http://t.co/NLwhkABKAa
— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) July 3, 2013
THE LONE RANGER, reviewed. Warts and all, I really liked it. http://t.co/7fotvYtDK8
— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) July 3, 2013
'The Lone Ranger' REVIEW: This overly ambitious Western is a rough cut of a slimmer, better movie | http://t.co/x2f36Jsjvx
— TIME.com (@TIME) July 2, 2013
Review: "The Lone Ranger" is a boisterous, relentless production, long on action but short on fun http://t.co/VcT59CKnRg
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 2, 2013
Armie Hammer is telling friends that it wasn't him in The Lone Ranger, and they just added his head in digitally like The Social Network.
— Patrick Daly (@patddaly) July 3, 2013
THE LONE RANGER took in only $2M at 7pm shows last night (via @AmyKinLA). Gonna be a big old disaster.
— Grady Smith (@gradywsmith) July 3, 2013