‘The Lone Ranger’: Can great acting make up for a mess of a script?

lone_rangerThe Lone Ranger is an American icon. The mask, the hat and the simple uttering of “Hi ho Silver, away!” are as American as our flag. So, does Gore Verbinski, director of the famous “Pirates of the Caribbean” saga, do the American legend justice? Well, kind of.

Armie Hammer (“Mirror Mirror”) plays John Reid, a lawyer on his way to Colby, Texas, to bring justice to the Wild West. He joins his older brother, a Texas Ranger, on a hunt for the outlaw Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner, “Armageddon”).

However, every member of Reid’s posse is savagely killed. John miraculously survives and lives on as the Lone Range with his Native  sidekick Tonto, who was abandoned by his tribe (Johnny Depp, “Dark Shadows”) in a quest to bring Butch to justice.

Both Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp own the two main roles  (Depp even contributed to the character’s design) and make them as enjoyable as could possibly be. Hammer’s performance as the Ranger is confident, idealistic, and charming, while Tonto, in true Depp fashion, is as out there, humorous and strangely wise as audiences would expect. The two get along fantastically well, and the pair is immediately likable.

However, the rest of the film is shrouded in mediocrity. The overall plot is overblown as most big-budget action films are, and the script, save for a few humorous moments from the Ranger and Tonto, is blandly written.

The film is terribly bloated, clocking in at over two and a half hours, with much of it being blatant exposition and poor attempts to give back stories to characters viewers are already very familiar with. There are vast swathes of boring throughout the movie as it attempts to explain what’s going on, even though we already know about it.

As great as the two main leads are, they can’t make up for the poorly done film surrounding them. For the Depp fans out there, it’s maybe worth waiting until it hits Netflix, but average moviegoers are better off renting something like “True Grit” instead.