The Lone Ranger, currently earning a 25% Rotten Tomatoes rating, “is a catastrophe of tone, a truly tortured screenplay that seems embarrassed by its central character, and at two-and-a-half hours, it may be the single most punishing experience I’ve had in a theater so far this year,” writes HitFix‘s Drew McWeeny. “This is a terrible film by any standards. Overlong, with a script that reads like a notes session no one ever organized into something coherent, and totally confused about what audience it supposedly plays to, The Lone Ranger is grim, ugly, and deeply unpleasant.”
Which means, of course, that The Lone Ranger will (a) probably win the weekend’s box-office crown and (b) Disney will soon announce the green-lighting of a sequel.
“At one point in the film, William Fichtner‘s villain cuts a man’s heart out of his chest and, in front of the immobilized Lone Ranger, eats it,” McWeeny says. “I repeat. He cuts the man’s heart out. And then he eats it. And this is a big summer Disney movie? Really?”
Pic is “a moderately amusing but very uneven revisionist adventure with franchise and theme park intentions written all over it,” says The Hollywood Reporter‘s Todd McCarthy.
“Floated conceptually and commercially by another eccentric comic characterization by Johnny Depp, this attempt by director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to plant the flag for another Pirates of the Caribbean-scaled series tries to have it too many ways tonally, resulting in a work that wobbles and thrashes all over the place as it attempts to find the right groove. There’s enough entertainment value in this vastly overlong extravaganza to put it over commercially, although whether it can reach Pirates-levels of profitability and warrant three sequels is another matter.”
“[It’s an] exhausting reboot…an over-the-top oater [that] delivers all the energy and spectacle audiences have come to expect from a Bruckheimer production, but [which] sucks out the fun in the process, ensuring sizable returns but denying the novelty value required to support an equivalent franchise,” says Variety‘s Peter Debruge.
“The Verbinski-Bruckheimer team builds things just to blow them up, and by the film’s climax — which juggles several high-peril situations aboard two criss-crossing locomotives, including the sight of Reid riding his ‘spirit horse,’ Silver, atop a train — what began as an elegantly epic, potentially realistic retelling of the Lone Ranger legend has devolved into Wile E. Coyote-style cartoon shenanigans.”
“The Lone Ranger 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. Verbinski and his writers have taken a promising idea and put a silver bullet in its head,” says TheWrap‘s Alonso Duralde.
“Depp lands the occasional one-liner, but his presence in the movie actively undercuts our investment in the Lone Ranger as a character, much less as a hero. Imagine Christopher Nolan casting Joan Rivers as Alfred in the Dark Knight movies so she could follow around Batman and make jokes about his ridiculous outfit.”