Chris Hicks: 'The Lone Ranger' tries to fix genre that's not broken

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  • dustman Gallup, NM
    July 16, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    I'm Navajo. I didn't have any real problem with the Native American stuff. I was disappointed in the movie though, but only because there weren't any heroes. I remember watching the Loan Ranger on TV and in the movie theater in the 80's and wanting to be the Lone Ranger and Tanto. I walked out of this movie wondering if my kid would want to be either.

    The movie failed as a western and as a Lone Ranger film.

    I was okay with Monument Valley, Shiprock, Canyon de Chelly, being in Texas (ha ha), because it seemed like a throw-back to the TV shows.

    But the movie failed because there weren't any heroes. It was just blah.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    re: bradleyc & aceroinox

    Lone Ranger was decent but about 15 minutes too long and the pacing was bad. It wasn't as Pirates OTC as I thought it would be.

    Loner Ranger was nowhere near as bad as Wild Wild West w/ Will Smith & Kevin Kline (who ironically was in Silverado).

    The 2 worst movies so far this year... Bullet to the head & the Oz "prequel"

    I'm not much for Westerns but really liked Silverado

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    July 12, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Well, now I'm gonna see it just to see what all the hullaballou is about. My husband and two friends saw it, loved it. I said, "Whaaa?! I thought it was panned because Johnny Pirate was parading as an Indian?!" He liked the action and said it was fun western.

    My jaw dropped: This from an engineer who critiques every explosion scene on why it couldn't have ignited so quickly or exploded on detonation with "that ferocity". He's our resident "How Realistic/Accurate" Monitor. But hey, he works on rocket engines for a living...

    I hate gratuitous violence and PC Hollyweird (grew up down there), so I better find some redeeming quality or entertainment factor. Still, the controversy beckons... (And my vote is with The Searchers!)

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    July 12, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    To estreetshuffle: "Where did scalping come from? It originated from England."

    That's only considered true within the typical accounts of fairly modern history. It's pop culture. Read "1491" by Charles Mann as only one example of what was going on here long before England and even the French came on the scene. Also "The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815" by Richard White for another. But that's just for America, North and South. England didn't invent scalping, nor any of the other disgusting tortures that are found to have been the same throughout history clear back to antiquity. We can now read this from scholarship that's available, covering all regions of the world. No one country nor culture has a corner on the extremes of horrors perpetuated on any other. Whoever originated it taught the followers well and they populated throughout the Old World and the New.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Let's be honest: Was this movie made for adults who have forgotten what its like to be a child, or for children who would like to see a fun, clean, wholesome movie? Adults, get a grip. If your children or you weren't offended by the gratuitous scenes of violence, gore, and absurd caricatures, what then is there for people who appreciate going to a movie to have fun without it? What character in Hollywood could be more fun, clean, and wholesome than the Lone Ranger? Maria Von Trapp! Oh yea, that was 50 years ago! How foolish I must be.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    Disagree,Chris. I enjoyed the movie, and so did my wife. Different is not bad. Nontraditional can be seen as innovative.

    The main reason this fell off the box office wagon is that the young movie going audience is not familiar with the main characters, stories, or themes. They were not thrilled with William Tell's overture. They had no reason to laugh at the Hi-Ho Silver, Away joke at the end. As for your criticism of Depp's portrayal of Tonto: Did you hate him as Jack Sparrow too? I agree there's a bit of the captain in Tonto, but I loved it...still a good schtick.


  • r0cky74 Erda, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    I usually find that if the "so called experts" turn their thumbs down on a high budget movie, I end up loving it. Such is the case here. To date, this has been my favorite movie of the year. Maybe it's because I love Westerns. Maybe it's because I now live where the original Lone Ranger series and a multitude of great Westerns were shot. If you want to see a really comedic twist to an iconic western, Here it is! Depp owned the screen. To those who scoff at Tonto I ask; How would you navigate life after knowing you were responsible for the complete destruction of your tribe? You might be a little crazy too. As for those who scoff at "filthy, vile outlaws," what do you expect them to look like. They live and travel in a very hot, very dusty desert climate? Also consider that this movie was probably meant to set the stage for more to follow. The Lone Ranger was a man of peace who didn't want to go against his principles and beliefs. Of course he would bumble and blunder during his journey. I Loved it!

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 12, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    estreetshuffle; What about Jeremiah Johnson?

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    July 12, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    Wayne Rout - I guess we understand the term "liberal political correctness" differently. Hard as I'm trying, I can't figure out how the film was inherently "liberal" or "politically correct." Now, did it stink? I though it was "meh," but I can see how some would really dislike it. But PC? That's pretty funny. I'll guess that you're seeing something that isn't there based on your political leanings. Wouldn't the "smart, wise" Tonto be more PC than the wise-cracking bird-on-the-head Tonto?

    banderson - Did you stumble on a director's cut or something? I don't know what you tried to post, but to call this movie "sleaze" is a tad strident. It's fluff; nothing more. I would suggest saving your disgust for a movie that has grander ambitions than to be an adrenaline-soaked action-comedy.

  • Tuffy Parker Salem, UT
    July 12, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    The concept of less being more is something Jerry Bruckheimer, et al. refuse to understand. It appears that if a little over-the-top outrageousness works at the box office then the mindset becomes "let's add more". If unrestrained CGI, explosions, gun fights, weird caricatures, etc. are what people reward these film makers for doing, then we will get more junk like Lone Ranger and the most recent and unwatchable iteration of Pirates of the Caribbean. I, for one, am thrilled that Lone Ranger is a commercial flop.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    July 12, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Western were never made to be taken seriously and are not accurate portrayal of the true west. ie a Comanche speaking Navajo or all the people riding the stagecoach wagons seem to not have sweated or are full of dirt. Western movies never matched true history of the west. For example, most of the cowboys in the true west were African American and Hispanic, not anglo as portrayed in the western movies. I could never figure how the Cherekees lived in Monument Valley. Probably the only movie that seems to have portrayed the true west was Dances with Wolves. Roles in this movie were correctly switched the cowboys were the savages and the Native Americans were more civilzed. Where did scalping come from? It originated from England. Historically, the British were the most brutal punishers of Native Americans. Check your history books.

  • snowyphile Jemez Springs, NM
    July 12, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    If a reviewer praises movies you don't like, what should you infer about the one they're panning? Two wrongs hardly ever make a right.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    July 12, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Dear Deseret News: What is it about inciteful, opinionated, thoughts about the 'Lone Ranger' that you will not print? I gave an honest, straight forward opinion of this movie, articulating my disgust, and was rebuffed. I'm sorry that you can't continue to promote such sleaze and poor movie making for your entertainment revenue. This movie represents what has awefully gone wrong with media and those that support it. On the one hand, the Deseret News presents articles about pornography and the destruction of the American family by its use, but on the other hand, can't seem to make the connection between what it promotes in its 'opinion' pieces and advertisements via sloppy, irreverent, vulgar, and obscene movies and the drift between the two. Just because you can't make the connection, should not keep you from allowing someone who does to express it.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    July 12, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    Liberal political correctness ruined this movie. We know what the Lone Ranger is like and this character is not the lone ranger. No one would go through their life with a bird on their head and wearing the exact same face paint. The real Tonto was smart, wise, and was #2. He never made jokes nor did the masked man. They just could not let a great story alone. Make the masked man a fool and the Indian at stand up comic. No wonder it is a bomb.

  • hnoel Layton, UT
    July 12, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    Now I'm feeling old.......Best Western -- hands down: The Searchers.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    July 12, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    We saw "The Lone Ranger" at a drive-in on opening weekend, and I thought it was fun enough. I agree it was basically "Pirates of the Caribbean" with cowboy boots, but "Pirates" was generally a fun series. I was also aware of the largely negative critical reaction, so maybe my ability to enjoy it was the product of lowered expectations. It wasn't "awful," therefore it overachieved.

    That said, I agree that it "deserved" to fail, because it was an horribly conceived idea in the first place. Westerns can be very entertaining, but spending $200 million on one plus NINE FIGURES in marketing costs - no kidding) seems irresponsible at best, insane at worst. You spend that kind of money on a movie with a hungry young fan base and a recent track record ("Superman" or "Star Wars," for example) not on an update of a quaint 80-year old genre staple.

    Raise your hand if you were jumping up and down screaming for a modern "Lone Ranger" movie. No-one? Exactly. For every "Titanic"-sized success, you'll get ten "John Carters" and "Lone Rangers."

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    July 12, 2013 6:49 a.m.

    I had rather suspected that Tonto would just be Jack Sparrow with less clothing. Sad really after the wonderful portrayals of Native Americans in "Dances with Wolves" we get the minstrel show version of Native Americans.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    July 12, 2013 6:26 a.m.

    Hollywood has never cared about our 13-year olds. Neither do the parents who drop theirs off at the mall and rely on salacious old men's "judgment" call vis-a-vis the so-called age rating. And the movie malls are just as packed in Utah as they are in Calif.

    We've been watching the movies before we took our teens waay back in the '80's. When Indiana Jone's "Temple of Doom" sparked all the angst that began the PG-13 faux response to "protect our children", the lights should've gone on in every parent's head...

  • snowyphile Jemez Springs, NM
    July 12, 2013 5:55 a.m.

    No chance Disney will become a train wreck. Too many turnstiles.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 12, 2013 1:05 a.m.

    Unforgiven, best Western ever.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    July 12, 2013 12:49 a.m.

    One of my all-time favorites is Silverado, which is a true tribute to the movie Western with some great iconic stars (including the aforementioned Kevin Costner in one of his first big roles). Another favorite is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. These movies never get old, which to me is part of what makes a good Western: you can watch it time and time again without getting tired of it. Another tell-tale sign is whether there are lots of timeless one-liners that you quote forever ("I can't swim!", "Hell, the fall will probably kill ya!").

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:37 p.m.

    Agreed that Open Range is one of the best movies ever. It is beautifully filmed. The pacing of the movie is perfect for the genre because it mimics the subject (slow, easy going but deliberate, with sudden flashes of intensity) The dialogue is so well written...the bits of cowboy wisdom throughout are amazing. All the actors do a great, great job. Wish there were more films like it.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:17 p.m.

    This movie was awesome! The critics are the ones who should be put out on the street. I loved it, my wife loved it and my kids loved it. 70% of the people on rotten tomatoes loved it when I looked yesterday. It's the critics that are the issue. Depp was awesome.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 11, 2013 10:53 p.m.

    Open Range is easily in my top 10 all time great movies. This movie is authentic and believable as well as beautifully set somewhere in the northern Rockies. The story is great - the acting is great - the scenes are beautiful and to have all of these hit the mark is really saying something in today's cookie-cutter, urban , shootem up garbage movies.

    July 11, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    I think there is a whole group of younger directors that think they need to re-invent each genre/story they direct without relying on the genre's previous successes.

    Some directors seem to actually take great pride in the fact they have no prior knowledge of the story or genre and thus we see results that strongly resemble their earlier movies regardless of genre/story changes and these resultant movies most often disappoint.

    Doesn't it seem like a director will have a successful movie and then in his hubris is unwilling or possibly unable to adapt to a different genre?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    July 11, 2013 9:45 p.m.

    Thank you fellow Americans for spending your money elsewhere. Hollywood on occasion will do something right. They will get the story, the plot, the action, and everything in between wonderfully. However, as a kid at heart, they must think the average American will not catch the obvious, over and over and over, mayhem of each of the aforementioned elements. How simple and fun can you get with 'the Lone Ranger'? Well, they completely massacred this with trite depictions of religious 'clingers', indiscriminate swearing, obscene violence, brothels (this is a kid movie, right), a dufus (non-religious, of course)Lone Ranger, evil and corrupt Corporate (not just businessmen)white capitalists, money grubbing, vain, and lustful (white again) role models, and just for good measure, a few more scenes from General George Armstrong Custard's indiscriminate massacre of Indians (all of course displayed as part of a Lone Ranger plot. Go figure). This movie was ruined. Worst of all, I sat through the whole thing, a whiny coward wasting my time waiting for the interminable ending. The script writers must have come right from a night of binge drinking at the Huffington Post.