Everyone familiar with the exciting William Tell Overture that accompanies the Lone Ranger and his faithful companion Tonto on their heroic missions, will be disappointed to know that its not showcased until the last long action sequence in this two and a half hour adventure.
It begins in 1933 San Francisco, where an aged Tonto (Johnny Depp in heavy makeup) relates the story of the Lone Ranger (Armie Hammer) to a young boy. It goes back to 1869 where Tonto meets up with a pacifist lawyer, John Reid (Hammer) who is out to avenge the murder of his brother a Ranger who was killed by villain Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner). He's a particularly evil guy, he not only kills, but takes delight in removing his victim's heart and eating it (thank goodness we don't actually see such a thing, but it is acted out and referred to a few more times throughout the film).
Reid is a reluctant hero and puts on and removes his famous black mask to become The Lone Ranger, at will. He teams up with Tonto because they have a common purpose, the capture of Cavendish. The action revolves around the laying of tracks for a railroad overseen by a shaky railroad magnate (Tom Wilkinson). The trains provide most of the action and its pretty spectacular stuff. Two trains racing down tracks that aren't yet completed, good guys and bad guys running on top of the speeding cars - in fact sometimes they are under the cars or actually falling off of them. There are enough explosions and gunfights to satisfy any action junky, the only problem is that there are large chunks of time where nothing happens. Tonto's attempts at quirky humor falls flat and there's hardly any connection between the two men.
Director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer re-teamed after the Pirates of The Caribbean series, but not with a successful outcome this time around. Depp is usually entertaining, but his personality doesn't come out and Hammer seems uncomfortable as the legendary hero.
I was looking forward to this adventure loosely based on the radio series that ran from 1933 to 1954 and the 1949 - 1957 T.V. series, and I did enjoy the opening scene and the long action sequence that closes the film, however there was too much violence (an entire posse is picked off by snipers hiding in overhead rocks), not enough fun and hardly any connection between the crime fighting duo.