with eyes open wide
I am not a big movie-watcher. So don’t think that movie reviews are a common posting for me. Even when I do watch movies, I’m rarely moved to comment on them.
I’m not sure if I feel compelled to comment on “The Lone Rider” because of the movie content or more so because I have such an outsiders view of Hollywood, that I am now more aware of a movie’s broader impact on society. I know, I kinda live under a rock most of the time.
Regardless, the movie struck a cord with me. Here are the top reasons why:
1. Pardon my ignorance, but did these events really happen? The movie is portrayed as relating historical events to a child. Guess what? It’s false! This tale is based on a book written by Zane Grey in 1915. The book was made popular by a radio show in 1933. From there it was made into a series of books, a television show, comic books and movies.
Well you certainly fooled me, Johnny Depp. Damnit.
2. This movie’s underlying theme goes above “fighting for the good guy”. The producer and writers, etc. clearly want to give a kick in the ass to the government, rich greedy folk and the system. Please tell me that ya’ll saw this too. I would like to hope that it is the main theme for the movie, with a “cowboys vs. indians” curtain to attract broader audiences. This is Hollywood afterall.
But seriously, they gave a big slap in the face to the law/government. They revealed how everything is connected – how big business (just a few people) runs everything, and how that in turn runs the government and leads to greed and corruption. Eyes open people… this is not a kid’s-only film. Will our kids pick up on this?
3. One thing that I HATED was how “hip” and modern they wanted to make the movie seem. Johnny Depp is a good guy, but he played his typical “clumsy/clueless/other-worldly intelligent” character. It’s very funny, we all love it. But it is NOT accurate of typical Indian behavior and gives children (one of the intended main audiences for this Disney movie) the wrong impression. We’re laughing at the silly things he does. We’re laughing at the culture and sacred customs of another culture! Do you know how offensive that is?
Also, Armie Hammer (hello, worst name ever?), who plays the protagonist alongside Depp, is SO OUT OF PLACE. I know, this is not a historical movie. They can do whatever the hell they want. But it comes off as so stupid and fake to me. Hammer’s character, “John”, talks to Depp’s character, “Tonto”, as if this scene took place in modern day, completely disregarding the language and communication of previous times. Depp is more believable at least.
This really irks me for the kids. It’s constantly a push into the modern world that even our “historically-filmed” movies are faking the reality of the past. Sure the set is all dolled-up and the costumes are in place. But to forget the MORALS, VALUES, NORMS of the past makes everything else irrelevant.
4. The ending revelation for the Lone Ranger was that justice must be taken into the hands of the people. Hmm. Not very government-friendly. The Lone Ranger is completely anti-gun throughout the entire movie; he is a lawyer and trusts in the law to deal justice. Well, we all know that’s a load of crap for many many many cases and situations. But again, very strange and interesting that they bring this up in a children’s movie.
5. Of course I am for indigenous rights, so I was very pleased to see the positive Indian vibe in this movie. I am also quite anti-“White Man”, even though I am caucasian (I know, weird). And this movie was SUPER anti big bad White Man. There was one good white guy and two good white girls in the whole movie (spoiler alert: the other good white guys are killed at the beginning).
That was why the good white guy (The Lone Ranger) had to wear his mask. To fight against his own kind, “hidden” with a mask so that they wouldn’t recognize him. Wow, really deep if you let that sink in.
All in all, this movie is extremely jumbled, fake and gets a bit annoying with Johnny Depp’s predictable silliness. But the true theme is spot on. I just hope everyone’s eyes are wide open for this.
I would love to know, have you seen this movie? What did you think? Are you planning to see it? Or do you want to stay far away from it?