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Date [ 2013-07-08, 09:35 ]

After a long hiatus, the Masked Man and his trusted Indian sidekick ride again.

 

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) by Ramani Rathir = From producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski, the filmmaking team behind the blockbuster franchise “Pirates of the Caribbean”, comes Disney’s “The Lone Ranger,” a thrilling adventure infused with action and humour, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life in an entirely new way.  This is the official blurb for you!

Native American spirit warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp) recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man of the law, into a legend of justice—taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption

 

Disney’s modern-day re-make of the classic radio-serial-turned-television-show “The Lone Ranger” is facing heavy flak from the critics. However a major portion of movie goers have taken it as a comedy done out in the Wild Wild West and have chuckled through it.

 

If you are a fan of the old Lone Ranger, do not go to this movie. It could wipe out all the happy memories you have of that High Ho Silver days! If you however can put those old memories aside and open to this new version, there just might be some pleasant surprises!

 

The film starts with a boy wearing a Lone Ranger mask and going into a tent and looking at all the pictures and artifacts there.  He comes upon an exhibit of The Noble Indian and while looking at it, he takes off his mask. The Noble Indian, now very old appears and tells the boy, “Never remove the mask, Kemosabe.” It is then we realise the old Indian is actually Tonto. He then   tells the young boy the story of the real Masked Man.

 

The camera descends on John Reid, a city lawyer, who thinks justice can be found in the principles of law and government. His brother Dan however, a Texas Ranger does not hesitate twice to shoot down a man in the name of justice. So when Tonto, a warrior himself, first meets John, there is no connection. It is instead diverted to Dan as he appears more of a warrior than John.

 

Butch Cavendish as the main villain is taken on a train to the opening of a new railway station and the expansion of the railroad beyond it. The hanging of Cavendish here is the main celebration. Certainly a bizarre way to celebrate the opening of a railway station! True to Western grit, Cavendish escapes. So Dan and his Rangers go after the escaped convict. John decides to go along with them after being deputized as a Ranger.

 

A lot of the action is on the roof of a train.
However one of their Rangers betrays them and all are killed in an ambush. Eight of them died in that ambush and Tonto begins to digs graves. But he digs only seven graves intending to bring back Dan alive as a spirit warrior. This is when a white spirit horse shows up as Silver. It stops at John’s grave. Tonto argues with the horse, urging it to go to Dan’s grave but the horse stubbornly keeps going back to John’s. 

Thus the Masked Man is born and the two set out to seek justice for the murdered Rangers. They set out to find Butch Cavendish and bring him and his men to justice. In the process John learns and accepts that sometimes the law does not follow by the book and rules may sometimes have to be bent for justice to prevail.

So those who can accept the new Lone Ranger will find the film to be enjoyable. There is action, violence and mayhem, but it is all interlaced with comedy that diffuses the situation. Take the case of John asking why Tonto calls him ‘Kemosabe’. The answer “wrong brother’ as Tonto had always wanted Dan, not John!

Armie Hammer is credible as a lawyer turning into an outlaw. He worked very well with Johnny Depp. But throughout the film, and critics used this as a salvo, the repositioning of two very well known characters of the Wild West, did not jell very well. Yep, the story was fun with lots of action and laughter but it seemed like the core had been dug out and thrown aside. In the end it left an uncomfortable feeling. Perhaps the fact that a white man, in heavy make-up was playing an Indian had something to do with it! abc@koreanpress.net  

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