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06 July 2013 @ 08:54 pm
The Lone Ranger movie review, according to someone who grew up knowing him  
Disney's version of the Lone Ranger came out on July 3rd, but in some freak occurrence, Kitsap County released it a day ahead, which means I got to see it early! I think I've said before that the Lone Ranger is my favorite 'super' hero of all time, so I was of course stoked to see it. I grew up listening to the radio show (thanks to my mom, who also grew up a fan), so I went to the movie with these expectations:

-The William Tell Overture
-Someone asking, "Who was that masked man?" or questioning his mask in some way

What I got was pretty different, but still turned out to be far greater than I had expected. Yes, I was initially weirded out by Tonto walking around with a dead crow on his head, but once I saw the part it played, even that made perfect sense. (Spirit animal, hello!)

The movie starts out in 1933, which is the year that the original radio show aired. A cool nod, I thought. We see a boy attending a carnival, and he's dressed as a masked cowboy. He's encouraged to enter a 'Wild West' tent that is supposed to take him back to yesteryear, so he enters…and is non-plussed. The only things on exhibit are a stuffed bison, grizzly bear, and what he thinks is a fake Indian. (No political correctness here!) As he looks at the wizened Indian, the Indian suddenly comes to life, addressing him as 'Kemosabe.'

The boy of course freaks out a bit, but soon realizes the old Indian is none other than Tonto, the Indian companion to the Lone Ranger. Before long, Tonto begins his tale on how he met that fabled fighter for justice long ago…

As would be expected, the time then shifts back to the late 1800s, when the transcontinental railroad is being worked on. The majority of the story takes place in Texas. (Lone Ranger lore: He was a member of the Texas Rangers.)

Long story short, the movie spends time to develop the characters and the story. As a young man returns from out East to return to his boyhood home, elsewhere on the same train, an Indian is in chains next to a likewise chained convict. Before long their paths become intertwined, and by the end of the train ride the young man and the Indian end up with the convict as their common foe. …and then the young man locks the Indian up…

Okay, real quick, he's the younger brother of a Texas Ranger, so he has easy access to the local jail. He also has a strong sense of justice. Even without knowing why the Indian was in chains next to the convict, he wants him to face justice regardless, but he does apologize to the Indian before continuing on to meet up with his older brother.

The young man then comes across his brother's wife, apparently an old flame, and her young son. After the older brother shows up, he makes the young man a Texas Ranger, even bestowing their father's badge upon him. And then they're off to track down the escaped convict so he can be hung.

Word of warning, if you know of the lore behind the Lone Ranger, you might want a tissue handy. It wasn't until things were about to happen that I realized what was about to happen, and I actually got a bit emotional about it. They do not sugarcoat the outcome of trying to track down the convict at all, and before long all of the Texas Rangers lie dead.

Or do they? On their way to their unknown demise, the young man's older brother pointed out a white horse that was watching the group from a bluff, commenting that the Indians believed white horses to lead spirits to the afterlife. When the Indian (who is questioned on how he escaped from the jail by the boy listening to his tale) comes upon the slaughter, he digs graves for everyone and buries them…only when he's trying to bury the young man, the white horse shows up and indicates that he is the warrior the Indian has been waiting for.

Hilarity ensues. :D

Eventually the young man comes to, gets the lowdown from the Indian, and unhappily dons the mask the Indian cut from his murdered brother's vest. The white horse eagerly takes them wherever they need to be, which is all sorts of places as they unravel treachery of various sorts from various places, and really it would do the movie injustice to try and explain it all here.

All you need to know is that if you can withstand on screen and implied violence, you should be okay watching the movie. If you enjoy a good Western, you may enjoy this. If you are able and willing to think while watching the movie, the plot and the evolution of the young man from new law student bursting with potential to vigilante outlaw (the mask gives that impression), you ought to enjoy the movie a lot as well.

Also, while no one ever straight out asked about his mask (aside from the Lone Ranger himself, which was actually amusing), when the William Tell Overture finally shows up, it is EPIC. I'm looking forward to owning the DVD just to watch that scene. I really hope that the movie does well enough to get the original radio program released again. And, heck, I hope for a sequel as there are plenty of plot hooks they left hanging that would be perfect.

For now, I'm going to journey back to yesteryear and relive my childhood listening to the radio program. At least YouTube has a few episodes:



I might have to make plush versions of Silver and Scout soon. :D
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