I’m a huge Lone Ranger fan. I grew up listening to the Lone Ranger radio show. Then, with my parents indulging in this new-fangled technology called VHS, I eventually watched and memorized the 1950’s TV show. Since then, I’ve seen just about every incarnation of the Lone Ranger. However, this new Jerry Bruckhiemer/Johnny Depp/Gore Verbinski incarnation appears to have missed what makes the character so iconic.
As a bit of a digression, something I’ve been thinking about recently is what I’ve been calling P.T.C.G. or Post-Transformers Computer Generated. The term pertains to the climactic battle in every big budget feature film currently being relased. They all have the same smeared gray, visual cacophony erupting off the screen. They all look like a transformers movie. Think about it. Avengers, Man Of Steel, Battleship. They all have the same design sense and the same overly detailed feel. I’m not opposed to this design sense and I understand that Hollywood inevitably mimics whatever is making money, but I’m getting really tired of it.
Now that we’re all on the same page with P.T.C.G: Why is there so much of it in Lone Ranger? Why? Did we learn nothing from Wild Wild West? The film looks campy, over the top, and just plain wrong. Nothing about the trailers says American Icon. They say ‘Jersey Shore Western’ or ‘Dubstep Is Cool, Brah’ or ‘This Film Is Going To Age Really Fucking Well” There’s nothing about the trailer that screams Americana or even Western with a capital W. Sure, it takes place in the old west but that doesn’t make it a western, that means it takes place in the old west. There’s a specific language that westerns use. Extreme close-up, wide panoramic shots of the desert, backlit protagonist haloed by dust. Whistling. None of those are used in the marketing, trailer, or iconography presented for this new Lone Ranger.
All this is still nothing compared to the Cigar Store Indigenous Person standing quietly in the corner. Why is Johnny Depp playing Tonto? This film was supposed to treat Tonto with respect. It was supposed to make him the brains of the opperation. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO TREAT HIM WITH RESPECT! And they’re having a white dude play him? C’mon, guys. C’mon. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an idiot. I fully understand the studio wanting to have Depp play Tonto. He’s a literal billion dollar actor. It makes fiscal sense to put him in the role, if you’re trying to kickstart a franchise. But it’s wrong. ON EVERY LEVEL. It’s not coo. I know that Depp spent some time with Natives. And I know that multiple Native leaders have said they’re cool with it, but y’know what? I’m not cool with it. I love the idea of Tonto. I love the idea of having a kickass, smart, awesome, and fully competent Native up on screen in a 225 million dollar movie. I don’t want Depp in the part. I’m sorry. It’s offensive. Think of it this way. What if the Spirit movie hadn’t bombed and Frank Miller wanted to bring Ebony Ivory into the movie. He wanted to update him, make him cool. Make him less of a racial cartoon. BUUUUUTTT the studio wanted Depp to play him because of the obvious financial boon it would mean. Would you be cool with it? Would you be cool with Depp in Blackface? I wouldn’t. That’s how I feel about Tonto being played by Depp. It’s offensive on every level.
In short, I won’t be seeing Lone Ranger this weekend. And its killing me. I love John Reid. I really do. The character has had a massive impact on me. I slept on the floor till I was 9 because I wanted to be a cowboy just like the Lone Ranger. I’m very very say that I won’t be giving this latest incarnation of the franchise my money. Here’s hoping it gets a reboot within my lifetime.
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Tagged: gore verbinski, green hornet, I Won't Be Going To See The Lone Ranger, jerry bruckheimer, john reid, legend of the lone ranger, lone ranger, lone ranger tv show, tonto
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