The Lone Ranger

 

Walt Disney Studios

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Sequences of intense action and violence, and some suggestive material

 

Plot Summary: A man with no law enforcement background is forced to join forces with a crazed Indian to help avenge the death of his brother.

 

PopFam Recommends: Skip this one in the theatres. Wait for it on TV or rental. OK for young teens to adults.

 

The Lone Ranger wasn’t terrible...but it wasn't great either. I'd watch it again if it was on somewhere, but I wouldn’t pay to see it again. I think I just expected more from both Johnny Depp and the Disney company.

 

I’d never watched The Lone Ranger before this film, so I knew nothing about it besides the fact that the main guy rides a horse named Silver and hangs out with an Indian named Tonto. The trailers for this movie looked fairly appealing, and I didn’t know quite what to expect when I went to see it. After the final credits rolled, I left with just a bit of a “meh” feeling. I had definitely enjoyed some parts, but I could’ve skipped it and been just as happy.

 

As the movie opens, we see a young boy dressed in the garb of the Lone Ranger in the early 1930’s going through a carnival attraction about the old ways of America. He comes across Tonto as an old man. The two start to talk and Tonto starts to tell the boy the story of how he and the Lone Ranger started working together. Occasionally through the film it cuts back to the two as the boy has a question or two and Tonto continues to narrate.

 

After the initial meeting, we see John Reid as he is on a train heading to meet with his brother. In an adjoining car, Tonto and the evil Butch Cavendish are chained up. As Butch’s gang frees him, Tonto and John try to help capture him, but to no avail. Once back in town, John meets up with his brother’s gang of Texas Rangers and insists on coming with to help capture Butch. But the plan goes awry and all of the Rangers are killed.

 

Tonto mysteriously escaped during the chase, and comes and buries all of the men, but John wakes up as Tonto is about to cover him in dirt. After being nursed back to health, the two eventually decide to join forces and go after Butch who also had by now kidnapped Dan’s wife and young son. Many antics ensue as John tries to become the spirit warrior that Tonto believes he is - and the man that he wants to be (which includes his adamant vow that he will not kill anyone). On the way to Butch, another dastardly villain is revealed who further complicates the plan.

 

Overall, the plot is easy to follow. Nothing special or really surprising here. There was a fair amount of humor and I did laugh a few times throughout. The acting was portrayed decently, and the evolution of character was mostly believable. Again, I wasn’t ever really surprised or really enthused about any particular moment in the movie, but it was had some fun parts and some good action scenes.

 

For parents, there is a small amount of profanity in the film, a fair amount of violence, and a few scenes involving prostitutes. Nothing too excessive, though, and there is no nudity.

 

In the end, there are plenty of great westerns out there that are much better than this one. If it’s on TV or a cheap rental, this one may be worth some time, but otherwise I’d say skip it and check out Open Range or True Grit instead.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• John Reid decides not to kill anyone, even in fights when his life is at risk. Do you think he made the right decision? Why?

 

• When is a time you had to team up with someone very different from yourself to complete a task? What were the results?

 

• Why do people need heroes? Is this a God-given instinct or something we learned for ourselves? Defend your answers.

 

--TN

 

Note: All product-related graphics in this article are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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