Okay, forget all those negative reviews of "The Lone Ranger" you've been reading everywhere, I'm gonna explain to you why Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer & company are far and away better than the Superman pic. (OR any other summer movie so far this season.)
Prologue: let me warn you, this blog is going to be all over the place, even more all over the place than my usual screeds. We're gonna jump from topic to topic and story to story with very little regard for linear sense. Any of you have ever tried to listen to me tell a story will understand. (Example; I'll start to tell you about Watershed at the Arts Festival a coupla weeks ago and inexplicably wind up at babbling about Jimi Hendrix at Vet's Memorial in 1968.)
First off, "The Lone Ranger" is great because it's the most anarchistic, anti-capitalistic, white-men-as-purveyors-of-genocide movie that will EVER have the name Disney attached to it. It's also either the most heartrending blockbuster summer movie action-adventure picture ever or the most exciting heartrending movie ever filmed. I'm quite serious. I have seen a LOT of movies in my 61 years on the planet and I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie this funny, this action-packed and simultaneously this sad ever. (I was THIS CLOSE to tears twice, and I'm a big, tough guy.) (HA!)
Come to think of it, that's probably what's bringing about all the bad reviews. I'm not sure anybody knows what to make of this movie: Is it a summer movie popcorn flick, is it a treatise on corporate greed, is it a scathing indictment of the treatment of American Indians that quite literally caused them to lose their birthright? What IS this movie?
This movie is Johnny Depp bringing his intellect, social conscience and star power to the summer movie genre and NAILING it. It's so much better than its summer blockbuster competition it's almost not fair to compare.
I saw "Man Of Steel" within a week of "The Lone Ranger" and they're just not in the same league. All the early hype was that "Man Of Steel" would do for for the Superman mythos what the Christopher Nolan "Dark Knight trilogy" did for Batman. That's just a laughable proposition. First, without a Christian Bale, a Heath Ledger, or an Aaron Eckhart, you're just NOT gonna build a great comic-book movie. (By the way; for those of you scoring at home, the three greatest comic-book movies of all time - "The Avengers," "The Dark Knight," and "Iron Man 2," the last largely on the strength of Mickey Rourke's villain portrayal.) (Also by the way, "Man Of Steel" wasn't even as good as this summer's "Iron Man 3," and that movie wasn't all that great.)
The problem with "MOS" and "IM-3" was that there was no real HEART to them. For all the talk of "Man Of Steel" portraying Superman as the last living member of his race, hopelessly alone on Earth, a man out of time & space, the film undercut its own point by introducing as villains six or seven OTHER surviving inhabitants of Krypton. (Not to mention the INTERMINABLE living-hologram flashbacks of Russell Crowe as Jor-El, Superman's Kryptonian father. If part of the pathos and premise of your film is that you've lost every living inhabitant of your planet, including your parents, you don't get a series of paternal do-overs.)
Plus the big-summer-movie-finale showdown in "Man Of Steel" was hopelessly derivative of the big-summer-movie-finale showdown in "The Avengers." (And let's talk about summer-movie collateral damage: How many innocent bystanders would have been killed in the "Man Of Steel" skyscraper-toppling battle royal, with nary a nod or blink from the filmmakers? The massacres that take place in "The Lone Ranger" actually REGISTER the loss of human life, you FEEL it in the pit of your stomach. If you can watch this movie without being affected by them, I don't wanna hang out with you at the movies, or anywhere else.)
And let's face facts; when director Gore Verbinski cues up and cranks up "The William Tell Overture" and Armie Hammer starts riding his stalwart stallion Silver ON TOP OF and THROUGH railroad cars, it's a pretty cool payoff to a great summer popcorn movie.
In short, go see "The Lone Ranger" RIGHT NOW and wait 'til "Man Of Steel" shows up at Carriage Place where you can catch it for a buck or two. - Ricki C. / July 7th, 2013
(Next time on Ricki C. Takes All The Fun Out Of Comic Book Movies - Stan Lee can take all of his millions from Marvel Studios and go to hell while Jack Kirby, who died in 1994 with maybe a few thousand bucks to his name, is barely remembered today, let alone credited for all of his comic book innovations.) (For the comic book-uninitiated who know rock & roll - This situation would be roughly akin to The Beatles not being particularly popular while they were together, but thirty years after they break up their records go HUGE and make MILLIONS and Paul McCartney gets to keep all the money while John Lennon and his heirs get NOTHING.)