Depp takes it easy in this oddball outing
THE LONE RANGER (PG13)
Action comedy/150 minutes
BY NOW we all get it: Johnny Depp likes to play unique, if not weird, characters. It has become his trademark of sorts.
In The Lone Ranger, he reunites with Pirates Of The Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and succeeds somewhat in a role that does not require much effort to play.
Lone Ranger revolves around John Reid (Armie Hammer), a law-abiding prosecutor who eventually becomes the titular character.
He teams up with the Native American Tonto (Johnny Depp) - who has his own agenda - to rid a town of the shenanigans of the ruthless Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner).
Despite its lavish set, The Lone Ranger is not much of a western, but more a buddy comedy masquerading as one.
The film's attention to detail shows, although most of the set is blown up towards the end.
While the film has pacing problems, the riff on the flashback technique, where an older Tonto forgets parts of the story while recounting it to a child, is hilarious.
The acting is subpar at best, with Depp looking like he is hardly trying in this outing. Hammer succeeds in what is essentially a rote, everyman, role.
The women are sidelined from the action, with Rebecca Reid (Ruth Wilson) functioning mainly as a damsel in distress.
Likewise, Helena Bonham Carter phones it in, in a thankless - albeit flashy - role (PG of course) as Red Harrington, owner of a brothel.
However, Verbinski's eye for action remains as keen as before, with elaborate action scenes on trains taking centre stage.
Entertaining but forgettable, The Lone Ranger succeeds most with its action sequences and comedic vibe.