Rare mis-step for Mr Depp

Kapi-Mana News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Fol­low­ing the for­mula that struck gold for them with Pi­rates of the Caribbean, the Dis­ney dream team of di­rec­tor Gore Verbin­ski, writ­ers Ted El­liot and Terry Reid, and pro­fes­sional weirdo Johnny Depp head to the old west in search of for­got­ten sil­ver with The Lone Ranger.

Re­turn­ing to his home town on the brand new rail line, of­fice-bound dis­trict at­tor­ney John Reid stum­bles on the at­tempted break­out of das­tardly con­vict out­law Butch Cavendish.

While at­tempt­ing to thwart the es­cape, Reid winds up chained to ‘‘no­ble sav­age’’ Tonto, who turns out to be hunt­ing Cavendish, too.

To­gether the pair must over­come their dis­trust of one an­other and ac­cept masked out­law sta­tus if they are to fi­nally run down their quarry and bring peace and jus­tice to the wild fron­tier.

The fact the words ‘‘no­ble sav­age’’ even ap­pear in this film says a lot.

Depp plays Na­tive Amer­i­can side­kick Tonto with all the grace you’d ex­pect from a white guy red­ding up to play an awkward stereo­type.

Of­ten ex­cru­ci­at­ing – his ac­cent alone is enough to make the least PC among you tut – the magic Depp brought to Cap­tain Jack Spar­row in Pi­rates of the Caribbean is sadly miss­ing from this film.

For­tu­nately, Ar­mie Ham­mer’s bum­bling Dud­ley Do-Right Lone Ranger is a supremely watch­able foil for Depp’s cul­tural in­sen­si­tiv­ity.

Added to Verbin­ski’s eye for lav­ish sets and even more lav­ish taste for ac­tion – how many steam en­gines can you de­stroy in one film? ‘How many have you got?,’ Verbin­ski replies – The Lone Ranger has more than enough swash, buckle and desert-bound der­ring-do to keep any­one en­thralled.

It is a gor­geous-look­ing film, too, with panoramic shots of Mon­u­ment National Park and the eerie Canyon De Chelly hark­ing back to the hey­day of 1940s and 50s westerns.

El­liot and Ros­sio’s knack for twist­ing, macabre plots re­ally shines.

The guys who brought you zom­bie pi­rates go ut­terly hi-ho sil­ver on the vi­o­lence and gore here – cue the gen­uinely ter­ri­fy­ing bad guy cut­ting out the hero’s brother’s heart and eat­ing it – leav­ing the M rat­ing some­what mis­lead­ing.

If only their tal­ents ex­tended to a more sen­si­tive, thoughtful por­trayal of Na­tive Amer­i­can cul­ture, then maybe The Lone Ranger would have earned the good guy’s white hat.

Not so no­ble: Johnny Depp in a rare mis­fire as Tonto, the Na­tive Amer­i­can side­kick to the Lone Ranger.

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