Cinema-going II: the Lone Ranger

Other films watched recently include the Lone Ranger, Red II and The Heat. Let’s begin with the most disappointing of the three.

Yep, the latest much-touted Johnny Depp vehicle was a disappointment, possibly for the simple reason that they tried too hard to do… what? Serious? Back story? Philosophy? Dunno. The problem is, it’s a film in two distinctly unequal halves. The first half interweaves back story (how Tonto got to be Tonto) with revelations about the villains’ ultimately dastardly plot to oust the “injuns” and take all the gold (sorry, silver…) for themselves.

This, in plot, musical score and length, pays very definite homage to “Once Upon a Time in America”. In musical terms, whole phrases of backing track appeared to be lifted directly from the latter: yet, reading thru the credits at the end, I was utterly flabbergasted to discover the ghostly hand of Morricone wholly absent from this work.

Meanwhile the railroad based plot, including the moment upon which the whole schemozzle ultimately revolves appears to have emerged from some diabolic time share with OUATIA.

Irritating, was the constant indecision as to whether Tonto himself is shaman – or conman. Irritating, because the ambiguity seemed to be not so much plot device (though that was clearly intended) but in the minds of the scriptwriters. Which is he? We don’t know. No, we really don’t know, so we’ve hedged our bets.

The second half, by contrast, is a joyous romp, to the accompaniment of the William Tell overture, natch! – accessing pretty much every cliché in the Lone Ranger handbook along the way. Wouldn’t surprise me if this section hadn’t been handed lock stock and barrel to a different and aspiring young director to supervise. Certainly, in tone, content, lightness of touch and humour, this seemed from a different film altogether.

And at two hours, the first half is just TOO long, while at half an hour, the second is far too short. Though maybe – meow! – its pace was a little more than the gracefully ageing Mr Depp could have coped with.

Historical footnote:

I DID think I might be unique. Or almost, in the sense that when I first went looking for “Jane Fae” lookalikes on google, there were none to be found. That was until twas pointed out by researcher and some-time partner Andrea that the history of film included a certain actress, Janka Fasciszewska, best known for her supporting roles in the original “Lone Ranger”, where she appeared under the name, Jane Fae.

Beyond that, though, I have been unable to discover much about her – and the Jane Fae on is me, not her!



About janefae

On my way from here to there
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