Pirates of the Caribbean 5… I mean The Lone Ranger

After my little camping holiday on the coast of Pembroke, I came home, soaked myself in ice-cold water for ALS and then slept for an indecent amount of time. By the time I awoke with bleary eyes, my thoughts were hazily focusing on the second episode of Doctor Who, my brother’s friends visiting and a few snippets of Saving Mr Banks that I watched the night before. All thoughts of my blog were shoved to the back on my mind.

It was only after I had participated in soaking my brother in vengeance and had tediously played another race of Mario Kart 8 that the relevance of Sundays dropped into my mind like the buckets of water I’ve been growing accustomed to in the past couple of months (may I add that donations to ALS related-charities should not be forgotten).

It’s now not Sunday, and I’ve been raking my mind for something to review. The only reading material I had for my camping trip was Last Bus to Woodstock which was bought on Thursday and that is now been reduced to paper-maché. I have done too many positive reviews and need something that carries a little more discussion.

As I cast my mind back to bad films I had watched, I remembered Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes having a bad reputation. It was then my mind made the mad link between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and this is one film I can most certainly remember. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Lone Ranger.

As I recall, a rumor circulated at the time of the film’s release that the budget was meant to be used for making the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise… that explains a lot. The film focuses Tonto’s story, played by Johnny Depp, as he tells of an Old West tale, involving a lawyer, Armie Hammer as John Reid, who becomes a vigilante to avenge his brother’s death, with Tonto assisting him.

I watched this film a while ago, and remember coming out the cinema feeling generally satisfied, but feeling it was missing something important. I’ve refreshed my memory as much as I could to remember what I liked and what was missing.

One of the major problems was the characters… particularly Johnny Depp. This is where the Pirates franchise comes in. Depp’s role was too similar to Captain Jack Sparrow to me. The performance was good, but it was something I’ve already seen from him before, and felt old and used. The character John Reid reminded me too much of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner, the straight man who doesn’t seem to want to be with the zany and weirdly-dressed man, but realises that they’re probably the best option they have for surviving in the world they’ve been pulled into: one a vast, open sea, the other a vast, open desert.

There were other characters who didn’t really get their chance in the spotlight. Helena Bonham Carter’s role seemed extremely interesting, but the writers only skimmed the surface of her past, teasingly giving us a good story, and then running off back into the main duo’s adventures.

Their seemed to be too many characters, side-plots and obstacles in this film. No decent time could be spent on anything, which didn’t lead to pacing issues per-say, but made the film feel a little jumbled and messy. One good thing about the characters is that they help John Reid realise that he can’t fight with the law in this film. No one is good, and John Reid realises that the only way to fight it is with a mask, if realising a little too late into the film.

The plot seems to have a lot of content, but it gets to a point where you start looking at your watch and waiting for the whole thing to be over with. While I said pacing wasn’t too much of a problem, there was too much content, and just when you think they’re about to progress in the story, when along comes another traitor out of the blue, or another random obstacle gets in their way again. It’s fine the first few times, not the other twenty others.

Dialogue was satisfactory, ignoring Captain Jack Sparrow moments. Their were parts that made me chuckle, but nothing really made me feel any emotion for the film. There were points through Tonto’s back-story and the Native Indians attacking that I felt that I should of felt something, but the writers didn’t push. It’s like going to a restaurant with amazing food, but you sit on a creaky stool as your food is dropped in front of you on a cracked plate in a back-alley. The food is good, but it doesn’t fit with the film. It is off and doesn’t hold any impact.

Now for the good parts. Firstly,: the action. The film keeps with the whole quirky Pirates franchise action going. Using the environmental surroundings, the characters survive through the action cleverly with heaps of luck. It’s grand for a Western, but something I expect from such a big budget. Special effects sometimes looked a little

Cinematography is good. The location is perfect and the camera picks up on the important parts of the scenes. Nothing really to fault.

In the end, The Lone Ranger is a dampened version of Pirates of the Caribbean in a desert. It is uncanny how many similarities their are to the franchise. It makes the film have an appearance of ‘been there, done that’. The things that could have been different, i.e. characters, are overlooked and skipped over in favor of scarce blockbuster action.

If you were to ask me whether you would enjoy it, it would depend. If you are a devoted fan to Pirates of the Caribbean, I have a feeling you’ll like it. If you like Depp’s humor and clever action, by all means, have a go. I couldn’t see anyone seeing this as an amazing film, more as a film to keep yourself and the family busy for the afternoon. Watch it once and put the case deep into the back of the DVD cupboard, right next to Paul and Ender’s Game.

Thanks all for reading. I’m not really sure what to think of this review, so please leave thoughts and ideas in the comments below.