x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Film review: The Lone Ranger

Depp and Hammer saddle up for an entertaining but slow western.

Johnny Depp as Tonto, left, and Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger. AP Photo
Johnny Depp as Tonto, left, and Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger. AP Photo

The Lone Ranger
Director: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Helena Bonham Carter
***

This mega-budget adaptation stars Armie Hammer as a lawyer in the Old West who, flanked by reluctant companion Tonto (Depp), is motivated by tragedy to become a masked vigilante. The film was a high profile failure in America, and while it is not a disaster artistically, it's easy to see why audiences stayed away.

Incredibly entertaining moments are isolated between vast spaces of time that are filled with exposition and needless characters (Bonham Carter's brothel madam 'Red' in particular). The moments that do work are worth waiting for - the climactic train chase is terrific fun. Hammer is earnest and possesses great comic timing. Depp's transformation into a Native American is a bit off-putting at first, but he carves a nice comedic niche. Villain William Fichtner is too underdeveloped to make any lasting impression beyond some rather violent early scenes.

Overall, the film would have benefited from having 45 minutes removed from the running time. However, as it stands, it is a bloated but entertaining studio juggernaut.

artslife@thenational.ae

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