News Column

It's action-packed but you'll be saddle-sore!

August 13, 2013


It's "Hi Ho, Silver. Away!" for Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, director and Oscar-nominated star of the Pirates Of The Caribbean saga, who reunite for this rootin' tootin' reinvention of the masked avenger.

The Lone Ranger began life as a radio series in the early 1930s and captured the imagination of listeners across America.

The title character, who rode the plains searching for truth and justice in the company of his Native American sidekick, inspired a spin-off series and then galloped from the big to the small screen as a long-running television series, here on the BBC, starring Clayton Moore and John Hart.

Verbinski's lavish romp spares no expense in terms of spectacle, including two outrageous set pieces aboard moving trains that are a thrilling combination of old-fashioned stunt work and pyrotechnics.

On the few occasions the film resorts to digital effects, the results are clumsy, like when the eponymous hero and his trusty steed leap on to the locomotive in a manner that defies gravity.

While the title of the film may be The Lone Ranger, this is Depp's show and once again, he is given carte blanche to conjure a quixotic, comic creation out of the ether.

His Tonto lassoes all of the best lines and is involved in the most thrilling daredevil action.

A framing device set in 1933 San Francisco confirms his star billing. A Native American mannequin (Depp) magically comes to life in order to recount the story of the Lone Ranger to a wide-eyed boy (Mason Cook).

The Lone Ranger is an entertaining action adventure, distinguished by Depp's theatrics and Bojan Bazelli's stunning cinematography.

The Wild West est has seldom looked so splendidly wild and rugged.

Unquestionably, the 149-minute running time will leave audiences feeling saddle-sore and the film noticeably drags its spurs in the middle section.

However, when it comes to the action, Verbinski's film delivers at a canter.

The Lone Ranger is on at Tiverton's Tivoli Cinema (01884 255554) and the Wellesley Cinema, Wellington (01297 23157).

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