Sunday, July 14, 2013
The Lone Ranger (2013) Directed by Gore Verbinski
Last sunday night I sat thru the latest and likely last adaptation of the legendary Lone Ranger character for the big screen. It took two hundred and fifty million dollars and a two and a half hour running time to drive home the tragic point that film-wise we have reached the prophesied end times. A worse film cannot be imagined. Stilted, arch, full of strange alleged jokes from Johnny Depp's "Tonto" (who STILL lapses into pidgin english at odd moments), a vapid performance from nominal star Armie Hammer and a berserker climax that looks like it was edited by running the celluloid thru a lawn mower. And all of this to penetrate the overseas market, a final burnt offering of an American Pop Culture Icon...rock bottom, end times, doomsday baby doomsday. I'm calling it folks, the Hollywood is finished, it has hit the auto-destruct button, they aren't dumbing down the product with endless sequels to satiate the allegedly teachable US Aud, no they are producing this dreck to entice overseas ticket buyers. Johnny Depp did well in "Pirates of the Caribbean" therefore he is literally the only actor who can credibly play Tonto in Hunan Province, Bangalore and Brasilia. And in turn this malign ethos is what destroyed The Green Hornet, John Carter of Mars, Superman The Man of Steel and now The Lone Ranger. Hollywood is no longer able to execute competent films with respect to classic adventure properties because the automatic expectation that they must be Global Tentpole Properties. Its worth remembering that back when The Lone Ranger was a low budget TV show back in the racist, sexist 1950's the Producers still somehow found a full blooded Mohawk Indian to play Tonto. Hell that "Legend of the Lone Ranger" bomb back in 1981 had a Amerind Actor playing Tonto....Now today forget about it, its either Johnny Depp or Jack Black. I hear tell, that a New Doc Savage movie is in the offing, this is quite literally a thought to chill the blood, please Ghod Hollywood don't wreck my happy nostalgic memories Ron Ely in the cheap ass misbegotten 1975 film. So keep this in mind: The tendency among high name recognition superhero movie franchises is a failure rate of about 50% (for every "Avengers" there is a "Green Lantern"). Therefore half the time the various franchises must be rebooted in any given situation and the origin "retold & reinterpreted"...at a fifty percent failure rate though this means whole iterations of specific characters in the movies over a generation can be nothing but a succession of origin stories. If I ran Warner Brothers etc, my first dictum would be "Nobody gives a rat's @ss about The Flash's origin"....but I don't run Warner Brothers and that organization is bound and determined NOT to learn from any of it's mistakes. Its worth recalling that Mark Hamill turned "The Trickster" into a game changer on ye olde Flash teevee show and no one thought to load the character up with a lot of origin nonsense. Ditto any number of the villains fro ye olde Batman TV show (his own origin was disposed of in exactly two sentences as I recall)... I could not begin to tell you "The Black Canary's Origin", I am sure I couldn't care less. I do care that the character gets respectful treatment...that is my investment. Well what of it, these people are hell bent for annihilation. Maybe we can still save broadcast television, too bad I watch so very little of that.