|The Lone Ranger and Tonto by Leroy Neiman|
|Johnny Depp - Tonto?|
Now to be honest as much as I love the ol' Masked Man and his faithful Indian companion, I couldn't for the life of me figure out just what the hell they needed 250 million dollars to tell a Lone Ranger story.
I mean come on this is the Lone Ranger, and just what exactly is it that he does?
He goes around stopping cattle rustlers, crooked railroad men, bank robbers and outlaws, and really that's about it.
Sure he fights crime with a certain amount of style, but the Lone Ranger doesn't battle monsters, aliens or pretty much anything else that would take a budget of 250 million big ones.
Honestly, I have to say that as sad as it will be not to see the Ranger back up on the screen, Disney is probably doing us all a favor and saving us from a special effects extravaganza that had really nothing at all to do with either the Lone Ranger or Tonto.
And one thing that kept bugging me in all the lead up interviews about this film was this whole attempt to paint the classic version of the Lone Ranger as being racist and anti-American Indian, which to those of us who grew up watching the series know is complete nonsense.
|Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels|
It's been more than 50 years since the Lone Ranger was at its height of popularity, but back in the 1950's, the Lone Ranger and Tonto were probably second only to Davy Crockett in popularity among the boys and girls glued to their shiny new television sets every week.
The Lone Ranger was huge on television, and in the world of comics they were so popular that not only was there a Lone Ranger comic, and a Tonto comic, but they were so popular that even the Lone Rangers horse Silver had his own comicbooks with back-up stories starring Tonto's horse Scout.
So really going in with that crazy of a budget, mixed with what was obviously people who really did not understand the characters they were dealing with Disney probably saved us all from another disaster along the lines of Jonah Hex, the Wild, Wild West or even (GASP!) 1981's, The Legend of the Lone Ranger.
As for the Legend of the Lone Ranger, what can I tell you about this horrible movie that so many others haven't written before me?
|The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981)|
It takes a good hour of deathly boring film just to get to where Reid and Tonto decide to team-up to fight the badguys and another deathly boring fifteen minutes after that before he finally puts on the mask, climbs onto the damm horse and starts riding with the William Tell Overture playing in the background.
And then after all that build-up, well, nothing much happens.
The fantastic character actor Christopher Lloyd is wasted in this mess as the villainous Butch Cavendish. Lloyd tries his best to make something of what little he's been given to work with, but still he's all mustache twirling villain, with about as much depth and character as Snidley Whiplash, only without the funny dialogue.
Throw in the great Jason Robards looking truly embarrassed to be so obviously whoring himself in his role as Ulysses S Grant and a plot that involves the kidnapping of the Wild Wests greatest outlaws and heroes and you end up with what can only be called a truly terrible picture.
The Legend of the Lone Ranger a dull, dreary waste of two hours with almost none of that time being spent actually watching anything much to do with, you know, "The Lone Ranger". It's all origin and almost no action with what little there is is totally forgetful and amateurishly filmed.
So really while I am sure the Johnny Depp film would have been large, loud and maybe even fun, I just got the feeling that it wouldn't be the Lone Ranger, but it still would not be able to help but be better then this train wreck of a motion picture.
|Not Tonto, not the Lone Ranger|
They did make a nice looking lunchbox out of it though.
|Ah for the days of metal lunchboxes|
Here, enjoy this the classic origin of the Lone Ranger.
It'll take that bad taste away...