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Saddle up for 'The Lone Ranger'

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By Becca Owsley

The masked man rides again in Walt Disney’s rendition of “The Lone Ranger.”

This time around, the western crusader is played by Armie Hammer (“Mirror Mirror”) and Tonto is played somewhat controversially by Johnny Depp (“Dark Shadows”).

Many moviegoers, including myself, have been skeptical about this new treatment of the beloved western icon. From the commercials, the film looks like Will Smith’s comedy-western flop “Wild Wild West.”

Going in expecting something horrible, I was surprised to find a funny and entertaining movie, but still one with a few flaws.

Some of the film is unrealistic, and computer-generated effects, especially with the horses, are awkward.

For a few actors, accents also are unbelievable, which makes their line delivery sound trite.

But the biggest head scratcher is Depp as Tonto. Sure, he’s funny, but I don’t remember Tonto being crazy. His performance is not the groundbreaking new portrayal of an American-Indian as promised. It seems like any other non-American-Indian actor playing an American-Indian.

He doesn’t exactly break stereotypes with his rendition of the character. I’m not sure what the American-Indian reaction will be.

That being said, Depp plays his typical, flawed and crazy character for which audiences love him. He is entertaining and funny.

Hammer is not your textbook Lone Ranger, but he’s entertaining, too. Depp and Hammer play well off of one another, which makes the comedic moments work.

The star of the show, however, is of the four-legged kind. Silver goes beyond trusty steed into comical super horse. Whenever the western duo is in a fix, he shows up out of nowhere to save the day. If you can say this about a horse, his part was well written.

The film also has moments that are more awkward than funny and the cannibalistic Butch Cavendish seemed weird. It also drags in the middle but picks up in the end.

But even with all those strange quirks, the movie somehow works and has laugh-out-loud moments.

My heard leapt with joy to find “The Lone Ranger” did not make the same mistake “Man of Steel” did with music. The final, and completely impossible, action sequence is scored with the music everyone expected to hear, the “William Tell Overture.” The music makes this scene soar and audiences cheer.

The backdrop of the western landscape is beautiful, adding to the feel of the film.

Helena Bonham Carter (“Les Miserables”), Barry Pepper (“Snitch”), William Fichtner (television’s “Crossing Lines”), Ruth Wilson (“Anna Karenina”) and Tom Wilkinson (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”) also star in the film directed by Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean” films) and produced by action film heavy-hitter Jerry Bruckheimer.

“The Lone Ranger” is a film that proves even with a few flaws, a movie can work when all the right pieces are in place.

It’s not quite what you’d think of as a Lone Ranger film and is more of an action-comedy than a typical western.

If you’re looking for a fun summer outing, you can saddle up for this one.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

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