Fear With Loathing – The New Lone Ranger

We tuned in because we had heard this would be the first viewing of the trailer for the new “Lone Ranger” due to be released July 3, 2013.

Our hearts were filled with trepidation. We dreaded discovering exactly how revisionist they could make the movie. I remembered, with a sharp pain in my head, the last Johnny Depp vehicle I’d hated: the horrible perversion of “Alice in Wonderland” that got great reviews, proving to me that there are millions of people who have neither judgment nor taste.

I had not merely disliked the movie. I loathed it with the passion I reserve for remakes of favorite stories that have been mutilated. What was, on top of everything else, particularly weird was that they talked about the Jabberwock and based a large amount of the plot on it, yet at no point did they actually offer us the Lewis Caroll poem.

I know the poem well. By heart, actually, because when I was a drama major (one of my many and varied majors), everyone was reciting Browning or Shakespeare and I was doing Lewis Caroll. I have always marched to an off-beat drummer.

Original black and white illustration of the Jabberwock.



’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”
He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.
“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.
Only “The Walrus and the Carpenter” gives me more joy. But, I digress.
I grew up with the Lone Ranger and Tonto racing around my bedroom. Other girls had Disney Princesses, but I had “Hi Yo Silver, the Lone Ranger Rides Again!” Although my walls did not play music, I could hum well enough and I had many a long chat with Lone and Tonto, Silver and Scout as I lay abed in the evening pondering the meaning of life and how I could convince my mother to let me have a horse.
Eventually, as I rounded the corner into adolescence, the Lone Ranger and his trusty Indian Companion (who had led the fight for law and order in the early west) returned to those thrilling days of yesteryear from whence they had come. They were replaced by plain, off-white paint. I would have preferred Lone and Tonto, but felt it was time for a change. The paper was old and getting a bit tattered so it was hard to argue the point.

The original Lone Ranger and Tonto — Jay Silverheels and Clayton Moore

This did not end my allegience to the first love of my life. I don’t honestly know what it is about masked men on horses that turns on all my lights, but both Zorro and Lone made me woozy with unrequited love. As the years rolled on, I became very attached to Tonto, not as Tonto, but as Jay Silverheels, the actor, whose career I continued to follow long after the Lone Ranger had disappeared from the airwaves.
Thus it was with deep foreboding that we awaited the first look at the trailer for the new “Lone Ranger” movie. I had first been delighted when I heard they were making it. When I realized that Johnny Depp was playing Tonto, I was a lot less delighted. I have liked Depp in three movies: “Finding Neverland” and the first two Pirate movies. In everything else, he chews up the scenery. I’m sure he could do a better job if he had a director who could control him, but he is usually so over the top that whatever he is doing, it’s all about Johnny Depp and not at all about the character he is playing.
He upstages himself. The only other actor I know who can do that is Jack Nicholson … but Nicholson has earned his stripes … Johnny Depp hasn’t. Not yet and possibly, never will. He just wears way too much eyeliner and mascara..
Just the makeup Johnny Depp is wearing for the movie is over the top. This is before he even opens his mouth. I cannot imagine it will get better from there.
We sat, Garry and I, wrapped in the silence of our individual thoughts. Finally, I turned to him and said:  “Let’s wait till it comes to cable.”
He thought for a minute. “Let’s just wait,” he answered.

17 thoughts on “Fear With Loathing – The New Lone Ranger

  1. I don’t know if Will Samson is still alive, but he would have made a far better Tonto, or maybe one of the younger Native actors that have shown up Like Wes Studi, or Russell Means.., these guys would make far more believable Tontos, and are real Native Americans to boot. In addition they would have added an element of authenticity, or seriousness, to the film, instead of the obvious comedy bent suggested by Depp.


    • There are a lot of NA actors and I’m sure any number of them would have been a suitable actor for the part, but we we are talking about Hollywood. They employ whoever will pay off big at the box office, authenticity be damned. Sometimes someone does the right thing, but they are usually very well established people who can afford to risk using a less known or unknown actor. It’s aggravating, but that is the Hollywood way and always has been. I would be astounded if they did anything else.


  2. Unfortunately … (or fortunately) … we can’t tell much from Trailers. I’ve been fooled into seeing some bad movies based upon great looking Previews. Yet I’ve liked some of Depp’s work – but not all – to be sure. He can act and entertain. He’s not an old style character actor (nothing wrong with that/those) but likes to do something widely different every time. And it doesn’t always work. And I too, have a soft spot for the original Lone Ranger and Tonto – having been a fan since the radio days – and comic books. Maybe these guys have cut a bit of a tough chew … though most people won’t remember – or care – about the original. With reservations … as you … I wait.


    • I don’t want a revised and updated Lone Ranger. I understand that there’s a whole generation or two of people who didn’t grow up watching the TV series … and they will probably think it’s really cool, but i don’t think one of those people is going to be me. Johnny Depp as Tonto … well … if I were Native American, his pretensions at Native roots would offend me. Hell, it offends me and I haven’t a trace of Native American in my heritage. Unless they migrated from Poland or Lithuania. Too much make up. Way too much make up. Too much everything. Too little everything else.


      • Well, according to my mom, we do have a smidge of Native American lurking in our background. I don’t mention or play this up much as too many make this claim and few, including myself, can verify it.

        In spite of my self, I watched the trailer anyway and couldn’t make hide nor hair out of what the movie is about. The one little scene bit that gave me a chuckle was Tonto’s…er Johnny’s face appearing underneath the car coupling after, what I imagine was a car de-coupling scene. I have to assume that this was a Depp touch.., but that’s it.., the rest made little sense at all, forget making me want to see this film. I too grew up with these guys, first on the radio, and then every Thursday night watching on the upstairs neighbor’s TV. That was when it was known as The Lone Ranger and Tonto. This newest effort seems to be “Tonto and The Lone Ranger”. And while I’m all for a Native American starring part, this is not the part, and Johnny isn’t Native American.


        • You probably do have some Native in there. I don’t, but Garry might, though he’d be hard put to figure it out. Owen can find his pretty easily, though he would never claim it, it’s so diluted and disconnected from the life he has lived. You probably could trace it if you were interested. We have a mutual friend who could help you. She’s into the whole ancestry tracing thing. Most of my ancestors died during the Holocaust and I’ve never seen the point in delving into the dead end of the family tree. I find Depp’s suddenly finding his NA roots … well … I don’t exactly have the right word. Offensive, but somehow insulting too.


  3. Pingback: Fear With Loathing – The New Lone Ranger | Movie From Mavens | Scoop.it

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