I went to see The Lone Ranger, and can see why it was not a great box office success when it was released in America.
Two parallel running story styles; when the immediate plot or story involves the development of the Lone Ranger character then this is tackled in a relatively serious way; however when Tonto is the principle centre of attention then it’s treated as a comic farce.
The trouble is that these two styles do not mix well in this production. Had it just been done as a serious re-invention of the Lone Ranger it could have provided an interesting alternative to the current run of Si-Fi based super-hero films. If done purely as a comic piss-take, then in the same way that Blazing Saddles has achieved serious cult status then this may well have done the same. It’s just that mixing the serious with the silly has resulted in a confusing film with no real direction.
A shame really as this Lone Ranger had such potential. A story-line based around the expansion of the railways across America, greed and corruption, the treatment of the indigenous Indian population (and Chinese immigrant workers), love and the importance of family… all looked at in one way or another yet totally messed up by this juxtaposition of serious and silly.
One problem is that it may well make Hollywood look even more inward and restrict themselves to just safe bets, so we’ll see even more sequels of known safe moneymakers franchises rather than trying anything new and exciting (but that bit more risky).