Trade Critics Shoot Down Lone Ranger
Uh, oh. In what would seem to support Steven Spielberg and George Lucas's prediction that an implosion may be in store for the major movie studios, the initial reviews for the $250-million The Lone Ranger among the trade publications have turned out to be atrocious, and if audiences react similarly after it opens on Wednesday, the film could leave a huge crater at the headquarters of the Walt Disney Co., which produced it. In the Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy dismissed the movie as a moderately amusing but very uneven revisionist adventure with franchise and theme-park intentions written all over it. Ranger, he writes, tries to have it too many ways tonally, resulting in a work that wobbles and thrashes all over the place as it attempts to find the right groove. Tim Grierson of Britain's Screen Daily calls it an indigestible swill of forced humor and oversized, overbearing action sequences ... almost entirely devoid of charm or genuine excitement. Peter Debruge in Variety figures the spectacle alone will ensure sizable returns but doubts that there's enough novelty value to support a franchise. And at TheWrap.com, Alonso Duralde concludes: The Lone Ranger is a drag as an action movie, it's not funny in its attempts at self-parody, and it feels like a Western made by people working off a checklist of tropes without ever really understanding the genre. [Director Gore] Verbinski and his writers have taken a promising idea and put a silver bullet in its head.