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This Is Northern New South Wales


It’s high time a review was done of a mature, thinker’s film; one that has superb scripting and depth, a poignant message, proffering profound wisdom. Perhaps foreign, maybe an arthouse creation, with a touch of surrealism and Freudian nuances…it IS high time – but The Lone Ranger ain’t gonna do it.

Normally, I begin my review with a brief movie synopsis – a couple of paragraphs wrapping up the general gist of what the subject of my diatribe is all about. But, as I trawl back through my spider-scrawl of notes hastily and almost unintelligibly penned in the low light of the auditorium, I can’t for the life of me make head nor tail of them.


The Lone Ranger has a storyline with more holes in it than a Byron Bay side street. A lawyer returns from the big smoke to his childhood home in the Wild West, a decrepit native American recounts his youth to a precocious brat at a fairground, said lawyer dies, or not, and is then saved by the now youthful native American, they’re friends, no wait, they’re enemies, oh, hold it, they’re friends again – aren’t they? The duo avenge the death of the lawyer’s brother, or are they trying to save the local town, or the damsel in distress?

It really is impossible to work out exactly which part of what can only loosely be described as plot you are supposed to be following – it’s a mess!

It is absolutely essential, if you are wanting to go see this film, that you leave every semblance of rationality, all tendency toward analysis and any notion that this is going to be a deeply engrossing tale out in the foyer. Let me explain it like this: even my trusty 10-year-old sidekick, without the slightest word of prompting from yours truly, stated, in no uncertain terms, that the storyline of The Lone Ranger “sucked big time”.

So why, if the plot lacked all credibility and seemed to be written by an over-caffeinated schizophrenic with ADHD, did we both leave the cinema with grins splitting our faces in half?

Because, regardless of dialogue, screenplay and feasibility, this dear readers, is the rootin-est, tootin-est Wild West hoe-down this side o’ the ol’ Miss-sippi!

The action comes more like a domino rally than a 4th of July, each stunt, leap, fall or stumble part of a grander sequence that just goes on and on, in a good way. There is no spontaneous scene, no one-off explosion – each action is exquisitely timed to lead on from, coincide with and flow on to another.

The title role has been thrown out to Armie Hammer, a new actor on the Hollywood circuit with a name like a GI’s toolkit and about as much character and personality as his inanimate, metallic namesake.  But he plays the bumbling Ranger pretty well – in fact, his blandness as an actor actually adds to the roll.

This film should have been called The Tonto Show. Johnny Depp, with a few tweaks in accent, a couple extra feathers and a truckload of face paint, essentially reprises his role as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Just as quirky, a touch more eccentric and a few more sandwiches short of a picnic, Depp plays the role of the infinitely wise or clinically insane Tonto impeccably.

And it is for this, for the greater part, that you keep watching. The anticipation of Tonto’s next crazy stunt or abstract one-liner is enough to keep you glued every step of the way.

It doesn’t make sense, it isn’t a ‘good’ film, the lead role is mediocre at best and it goes on forever! But, if all you want is to be entertained as you sit back and munch down on your choc-top, this rip-roarin’ yarn is well worth the price of admission. Just hold out for each and every Tonto moment and the goose-bump effect when the William Tell Overture cranks out in the final action scene.

Hi-ho Tonto!




Review by: Tommy Leitch – | courtesy of Palace Cinemas. Byron Bay