(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Lone Ranger. "Horses to Water" by Topher Mohr and Alex Elena plays throughout)
Doug (vo): I can't describe the hate for The Lone Ranger that surrounded it when it first came out. Even from the previews, people were just kind of rolling their eyes saying, "Really? Really?" I'm not gonna lie, I kind of had that reaction looking at the trailers, too, but when the critics got hold of it and the few people that actually went to see it, by God, they just despised it. They said it was overly-long, terribly written, horribly acted and just made no sense half the time. So I guess a large part of me was really dreading having to review this film, but so many people have been talking about it, I guess it kind of made sense to do so. Having finally seen it, are they right? Well...yeah, but I don't know if I hate it as much as everybody else does. It is definitely a bad movie, and it is way too long. But a part of me does kind of say, if this came out 10 years ago, say, before the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I kind of wonder if it would've gotten a warmer reception. It might've been that really bizarre distinct Western that's never been really done in this way before. But because it did come out after Pirates of the Caribbean and is even done by the same people, everyone just sort of saw it as phoned-in Pirates except in the Old West. And, yeah, they're pretty much right. I guess a part of me does see a little bit of possibility with Pirates in the Old West, though. Not much, but a little.
Doug (vo): The story opens with Johnny Depp as the famous Indian named Tonto. He has a job just standing around in a museum. [Beat] I don't get it, but the makeup's neat. And he comes across a boy who's interested in the story of the Lone Ranger. Well, since he was there, he tells the boy to sit back for two-and-a-half hours and listen to his origin story. The Lone Ranger was originally a lawyer, who had a very successful brother who was a lawman. One day, after chasing down an escaped convict, both of them are gunned down and even his brother's heart is eaten by the villain. Isn't that lovely? But Tonto is fascinated when the spiritual horse seems to pick our main character to be brought back to life. Tonto doesn't believe him, as he knows he's an inexperienced action hero. But the horse has made his choice, so Tonto decides to take him up as his partner, bring him back to the world of the living, and follow him to get justice and or revenge on the people who killed him and his brother. Along the way, they come across some strange characters, colorful baddies, and comedy ranging from the goofy to the downright grotesque.
Doug (vo): I get the feeling a lot of the worst parts were already kind of told to me, like the guy eating the heart or Johnny Depp being in the museum for no reason and some of the really stupid jokes. So I guess expecting that going in, I paid a little bit more attention to the stuff I actually kind of enjoyed. I mean, okay, it's over-the-top and silly, but that's kind of what I expected with a Pirates of the Caribbean Western. Everyone said Johnny Depp was just doing Jack Sparrow as an Indian in this version and, yeah, I see where they're coming from, but I don't know if I quite see it as that bad. I still think he's a good actor and, yeah, sort of the bug-eyed and closed-lip thing is getting a little old, but he still kept my interest enough. Now, of course, why he was chosen to play a Native American when there's about a million other actors that were more qualified to do so, I'm not sure. Well, yeah, I do. He's a star, money, all that stuff. I know everyone says he's like 1/90th Native American, but how about somebody who's, like, majority Native American? Wouldn't that make a little bit more sense? Our main lead (Armie Hammer) does a good job being the fish out of water in this new territory, trying to follow the law while also breaking it, and being fairly charismatic throughout most of it.
[The villains of the film are shown]
Doug (vo): The villains are mostly a bore, once again tying in to some sort of complicated plot about the railroad and land ownership and, oh, who cares? We just wanna see cowboys be cowboys.
[Various clips of Helena Bonham Carter's character in the film are shown]
Doug (vo): When it does do that, it's kind of neat, in that it's really weird. These are very bizarre towns with very bizarre people in them, but a part of me kind of likes that, because I don't see that much in Westerns. I was even kind of liking the way they visually told the story. For example, there's this woman with a wooden leg who also wants revenge on the same person. Even though her business seems booming, she says that he ruined her career. Literally, all they do is show a picture of her as a ballet dancer, and you get it. No tons of dialogue, no big explanation scenes, it's just one picture, and boom. You understand. I like a movie that can do that. I only wish the rest of the movie was like that.
[Various clips resume showing]
Doug (vo): At some point, I found myself getting really bored, and I looked on the DVD how long it was, and we weren't even at the halfway point yet. Good God! Why does Hollywood nowadays think that if something has to be really big and epic, it has to be super-long? Not every movie has to be Lord of the Rings, not every movie has to be Lawrence of Arabia. The same thing happened with the Pirates movies. Stop trying to be these gigantic epics, just be what you're supposed to be! Be The frigging Lone Ranger! Cowboys shooting, having fun. Let the epics be the epics and you be something that's enjoyably mindless. And I know it's ironic me saying that, seeing how I did an anniversary film that was three-and-a-half hours long, but that had a lot of characters in it, to be fair. This is two, two guys that we're following for an unbelievable amount of time. I don't care who you put in that role, that's gonna get boring after a while.
Doug (vo): So, yeah, is the movie good? Absolutely not. Is it terrible? Eh...probably, but a good chunk of that comes from the timing. If this was released before the Pirates of the Caribbean films, I think it would've had a little bit more of a chance, and it would have been seen as original and unique and strange and dark and, just, a movie unlike any other movie. Still having the problems I said before, with it being way too long and such, but I don't think it would've gotten quite the extreme hatred it's getting today. I'm glad I saw...parts of it, I mean, it's just so creatively bizarre. But what does any of it have to do with the original idea of The Lone Ranger and the cowboys and the Indians and just riding around and having fun? Not much. This feels like Disney knew it hit something big with the Pirates franchise, so they try to have lightning strike twice. Hell, you could argue, even the Pirates franchise, it didn't strike twice. The result is a little too much of what we've already seen before, and even then, not done that great. I guess even at its worse, this director's work is just so strange that I always find something of bizarre value to it. So I'm not quite as pissed off as everybody else was at it, but, yeah, it's still bad. Not the worst in my opinion, but sadly, not worth checking out either.
[The film's final scene, showing Tonto and the Ranger riding off to their next adventure, is shown]