On the UK market, is The Lone Ranger doomed from the start?
The Lone Ranger is just opening in the UK this weekend, but Disney’s latest attempt at a blockbuster seems pretty much dead on arrival. It stars Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer and is a product of the creative director/producer team of Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer. So, if the talent is all there (after all, the team’s last franchise, Pirates of the Carribbean, became a long-running success for Disney), what was it that made Lone Ranger just so… unwatchable?
According to Bruckheimer himself, speaking for Us Weekly, it was a collaboration of mean-spirited critics that did in the promising film. "I think the reviews were probably written when they heard that [director] Gore [Verbinski] and Jerry and I were going to do The Lone Ranger," said Depp, 50, who plays Tonto in the film. "Their expectations of it that it must be a blockbuster, this and that . . . I didn't have any expectations of that. I never do, why would I? The expectations of the American press . . . I think the reviews were written seven or eight months even before we ever released the film."
It takes more than casting Johnny Depp To make a gem.
Neither Bruckheimer, nor Armie Hammer seem to give the audience enough credit for their own viewing choices, apparently forgetting that besides a failure with reviewers, their film was also a box office dud. Hammer, ignoring any concerns for his career, also had something to say on the matter.
Even the nice visuals couldn't save this from the critical whip.
"This is the deal with American critics, they've been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time. And I think that's probably when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews," explained Hammer, 26, who stars as the Lone Ranger. "If you go back and read a lot of the negative reviews, most of them don't actually have anything to do with the content of the movie but more what's behind it. It's gotten to an unfortunate place with American critics where if you're not as smart as Plato, you're stupid. And that seems like a very sad way to have to live your life."
Sad or not, after the movie’s poor reception, unlikely to be rescued by European sales, its Hammer’s career and reportedly Bruckheimer’s Disney deal that hang in the balance.
The stunning scenes did end up blowing the budget, though.