Disney’s modern-day re-imagining of the classic radio-serial-turned-television-show “The Lone Ranger” is facing a gratuitous amount of harsh feedback from critics. The film, which released in theaters on June 22, is facing criticism for being too long, riddled with incomplete and unnecessary sub-plots, and for straying too far from the original source material. The film has a mere 26% rating on rottentomatoes.com, and other sources have not been much kinder in their judgments.
Moria McDonald of The Seattle Times regards the movie as “off balance” and incomplete, stating that “Hammer is charming but bland, and Depp, hidden behind a mask of makeup, mostly gives Tonto a deadpan dignity; their often rote interactions don’t justify the film’s two-and-a-half-hour running time.” Peter Debruge of Variety seems to be in agreement, saying, “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.”
It seems that even the two leading men, full of potential, experience, and a relatively abundant fan base were unable to save a film where “There are so many bad decisions on display… that I feel… it’s a film worth studying, if only to see clearly how not to bring a beloved character back to the big screen,” as Drew McWeeny of HitFix none-to-gently phrases it.
Overall, the film is a complete flop with critics who are certainly eager to tear it to shreds. One can only hope that Disney might take to the lesson from this film and learn to properly re-imagine classic, beloved characters and stories without completely destroying them in an attempt to milk them for all they are worth. Might this writer suggest that, next time, they start with not casting a white guy for the role of an American Indian?