The Lone Ranger (2013)
I went into The Lone Ranger without the greatest of expectations. The film’s trailers made it appear like it was going to be outrageously exaggerated and therefore hard to enjoy. But, at the same time, I knew that the film was created by the team that made the first 3 Pirates of the Caribbean movies, so it had to be good for something. Also, it’s a Johnny Depp movie. When was the last time that Depp disappointed?
The film is about a very old Native American named Tonto (Johnny Depp) who tells the story of his encounter with a man named John Reid (Armie Hammer) and how that man eventually became The Lone Ranger.
The film was not as exaggerated as I anticipated. The parts in the movie that were unrealistic were done tastefully and intentionally. Instead of those scenes being hard to enjoy, they usually were pretty comical. That was a welcomed surprise.
Depp was delightful, as per usual. His character had more hysterical one-liners than all of Bruce Willis’ action movies combined. Depp stole the show, as he normally does. The film almost should have been called Tonto instead of The Lone Ranger. Tonto is just another piece to the puzzle of insanely awesome characters that Depp has portrayed.
Hammer was okay, but at times his character felt more like the sidekick. He did what he could for his role, but he was no match to Depp’s Tonto.
Wilson was nothing special at all. She was a poor choice for a female lead. She seemed like a cheap version of Michelle Monaghan without the talent.
The rest of the cast had cameo-like appearances with the exception of Fichtner and Wilkinson, who were both excellent.
Overall, The Lone Ranger was a little long and drawn-out at times, but also fun to watch. Depp made the film worthwhile. If you enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), then you will likely get a kick out of The Lone Ranger.
I rate this movie a 7.5 on scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
Broken City (2013)
Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe both let their presence be known in Broken City. Each man carries himself with such tenacity and vigor that when you put them both in the same movie together, you are certainly in for a show. Put them both in the same scene, and you are in for fireworks.
In this film, Crowe reminds us all just how powerful his acting can be. He seemed like he was very comfortable with his part and was having a lot of fun with it. That aspect of it was pretty obvious and made the movie more enjoyable.
Wahlberg has been choosing his movie roles very carefully lately, and makes yet another wise choice. He has definitely shown us that he can act with the best of them and delivers another very raw, intense performance. Obviously he is the lead in this film and he was billed first before Russell Crowe, but I think that he has rightfully earned that position. He has paid his dues and has reached the superstar status.
The movie is pretty dark. It is filled with deceit, dirty cops and politicians, murder, and violence. It’s almost scary how well it was all depicted. It was all very well written, well directed, and skillfully filmed. It was all rounded out by a superb supporting cast: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barry Pepper, Jeffrey Wright, and Kyle Chandler. The latter three of those four are all very solid character actors and they were all at their best.
I have noticed a trend recently. Female lead characters have not had much of a chance to develop their characters in movies. It just seems that more and more, actresses are not given too many lines or very big roles in larger movies as of late. They may be main characters, but the men usually dominate the film. Obviously this happens a lot in movies, but usually when the movie has a big budget and a high caliber cast, it also gets a couple of strong female lead characters to go with it. Broken City continued the trend of weak or underdeveloped female lead characters. This may have taken a little bit away from the movie, but at the same time could have contributed to how and why the male characters went off the deep end. Their female counterparts were a little too withdrawn.
Broken City was reminiscent of old Humphrey Bogart private detective movies such as The Maltese Falcon (1941), or The Big Sleep (1946). Of course it is a new age and more intense film than those were, but it just reminded me of them while I was watching it. Those were classic films that were fun to watch.
Overall, Broken City was a very strong, entertaining film.
I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Buy.
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