Rambling Dispatches: “The Lone Ranger”

lone ranger

Every other week in Rambling Dispatches, resident malcontent Quinn McGee rants about whatever he damn well pleases.

So I got a reminder on my Facebook today that sent me into a rage. We’re within a week of a certain movie coming out, and I’m determined to say my piece about it before it comes out. For those who don’t already know, The Lone Ranger is coming out on July 3, and I will not be seeing it. I love seeing movies, but this is one I will not see out of principle. There are a few reasons why I will not see it, and I will get to them in a second. I just want to offer a disclaimer that this is by no means an article about not seeing a movie, per se. I have no clue if it’s going to be a good movie or not, though given Disney’s history with live-action movies, the chances are good that it will be a failure (quality-wise, not money-wise). These are just my thoughts about some of the goings-on around the movie and its release.

1) This is not a Lone Ranger movie.

Anyone going into this movie expecting this to be about the Lone Ranger only has to look at the poster to see that it isn’t. It’s a Johnny Depp movie. The poster is purposefully designed to draw attention away from Armie Hammer and draw it toward Depp. I know I’m not a kid of the generation of The Lone Ranger, but I understand it’s a remake, and it’s far from a faithful remake that people who know the original are going to enjoy. The Lone Ranger was thought to be killed by a band of outlaws and ended up surviving due to the care of a Native American man, who becomes his sidekick. Tonto was the sidekick and The Lone Ranger was the titular protagonist. This is not a movie that follows that formula, as far as I can tell. It seems to have some pieces that are truthful to the lore, but I ask you to go through the trailer and count the seconds that Hammer (The Lone Ranger) is on screen and compare it to the amount of time that Depp (Tonto) is on screen. You won’t be surprised. Speaking of Johnny Depp, that leads me to my next point…

2) When are we, as consumers, going to become sick and tired of Johnny Depp’s bullshit?

This is actually hard to say for me, because I was once a huge fan of his. Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Pirates of the Caribbean (the first one, anyway) were all fantastic movies. Pirates was actually the reason I ended up leaving Depp’s corner. Ever since the second Pirates movie, he’s been taking easy parts and playing uninventive characters. This was a guy who appeared in so many great, actor-driven movies in captivating roles, and now he’s just making faces and putting on voices to make kids laugh. Sure, there’s always a market for that, but Depp was one of those actors who had to turn away scores of roles yearly and became highly selective for a time. It seems that he’s now more a puppet for the late-career ideas of Tim Burton and the cash grabs of Disney. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the last three Pirates movies, Alice in Wonderland, and especially Dark Shadows (If you want to see me lose it, just get me started on that fucking movie) were all empty and featured Depp going through the motions. And people eat it up. Sadly though, I think there’s at least one person that won’t be done any favors by The Lone Ranger.

3) Arnie Hammer is going to get Taylor Kitsched.

If there is one thing I’ve seen so far, it’s that this is going to play horribly for an actor who’s pretty good. John Carter ruined Taylor Kitsch because it was a horribly handled movie, and The Lone Ranger is going the same way, but for different reasons. Armie Hammer is going to get caught in the long shadow of Johnny Depp. I have no doubt that this movie is going to make money, though maybe not as much as it’s going to need to break even, but I think we all know why it’s going to make money, and I think Hammer knows too. It’s sad, because I want Armie Hammer to do well and I appreciate the mythos of The Lone Ranger, but I can’t give it money all the same. This is the kind of movie that shows exactly how unoriginal Hollywood has become. That said, I look forward to seeing how the movie does upon its opening and how it’s received.