Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Lone Ranger.

Sometimes it pays to ignore the critics. A case in point is the latest movie from the ‘Pirate’ partnership of producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and of course Johnny Depp. If I had listened to other people I would never have seen The Lone Ranger (2013) a film that turned out to be very entertaining and humorous, in fact it was laugh out loud funny due to Depp’s natural comedic skills. 
The indian and  the spirit horse.
The movie is a revamp of a TV series of the same name that I loved to watch as a wee lad, one who was in love with any thing to do with westerns: comic books, films and on the TV, which in the past never ignored the genre. This American TV series ran from 1947 to 1954 and continued beyond these dates because of continuous reruns on British TV, well after the series finished in the States. The most famous incarnation was with Clayton Moore playing the masked man in a total of 169 episodes. John Hart followed him in the remaining 52, episodes that have hardly seen the light of day since their first release. Jay Silverheels played Tonto, the Lone Rangers constant companion, in 217 episodes.
The Villain.

The unscrupulous railway tycoon.

In the latest outing of this classic western Depp plays the Comanche Indian Tonto who takes credit as the inspiration behind the invention of the masked avenger and crime fighter. It’s also Tonto, as an old man, who relates the story to a young boy, how John Reid, a man of the law, was transformed into the legend of justice. Armie Hammer, who played both the Winklevoss Twins in The Social Network (2010), is the latest actor to play the man that brought justice to America’s old west and he does it with just the right amount of laid-back panache always making the audience think perhaps Reid is not quite the right man for the job but with the help of the white ‘spirit’ horse we all know as Silver, an enormous white Stetson and of course constant advise from an Indian with a well fed dead crow on his head he can’t go wrong, or can he?  They have to pit themselves against a great villain in the form of Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), a ruthless and cannibalistic outlaw, whom Tonto believes is a wendigo.[1] Tom Wilkinson plays Latham Cole an unscrupulous railroad tycoon, the brilliant Ruth Wilson plays Johns love interest and ex sister in law Rebecca Reid (you will know Wilson from playing the wonderfully murderous Alice Morgan in the TV series Luther). James Badge Dale plays John Reid’s brother Dan and of course we must not forget the lethal ivory-legged brothel madam Red Harrington played with style by Helena Bonham Carter.
The love interest.
The ivory legged madam. 
A wee warning, on seeing this picture you must not take it too seriously, just as the TV series was always very tongue in cheek so is the movie version. I think the critics took the whole thing far too seriously, but it’s not, its just great fun and never boring. Enjoy.

[1] A demonic half-beast creature appearing in the legends of the Algonquian peoples along the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes Region of both the United States and Canada. The creature or spirit could either possess humans or be a monster that had physically transformed from a person. It is particularly associated with cannibalism. The Algonquian believed those who indulged in eating human flesh were at particular risk; the legend appears to have reinforced the practice of cannibalism as a taboo. It is often described in Algonquian mythology as a balance of nature.

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