It's not because it's a Western. It's not because it's an old product. It's because the film sucks. This is why people will not go see the movie. Or hopefully. I mean . . . they went to see the last two Pirates films. The Lone Ranger is about a guy who watches his brother die at the hands of an outlaw, then goes in search for his brother's killer. Or, so you think. Arm & Hammer plays the Lone Ranger, while Jack Sparrow tries to portray Tonto, the Ranger's Native American side-kick. Technically, Tonto was the main character. I'm pretty sure we see Tonto more than the Lone Ranger. Tonto has a better story anyways.
I tried to decide where to start with this movie, but there is no place better than the beginning. I'll try to avoid the spoilers, but at this point it doesn't really matter.
Let's start with the story first. The film decides to waste its time placing the film during a date and time when the Lone Ranger is dead and Tonto is a statue in a fair. Then, with the power of storytelling, Tonto tells the story of the Lone Ranger. What the hell? I'm pretty sure this was done after the film was shot and the director saw all the plot holes in the film and had to fill them some way. The kid basically asks Tonto about all the plot holes in the film.
The plot of the whole story is amazing though! John Reid is shot, along with his brother, but comes back from the dead to avenge his brother's death, or save his brother's wife and fall in love with her, or take out the railroad mogul so he won't become rich? Tonto is here, because John Reid would get lost in the desert without the Native American. This film wouldn't change at all if Tonto was not in it. The film would still be the same, but the audience wouldn't have to watch a 2 and 1/2 hour film. The true villain is a railroad mogul who wants to place his railroad in Camanche territory, or mine silver in Camanche territory, or have a family he can care for, or take over America? It's all of the those.
I would like to make reference to the one-hundred other Westerns that this Western ripped off: The Lone Ranger (serials), Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Last Samurai, Dances with Wolves, Batman (not a Western, but a guy has something tragic done to him and he puts on a mask and becomes a vigilante w/a very bad sidekick), Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (steals the famous scene of Gandolf and the Rohirrim riding down the steep mountain towards Helm's Deep), Young Guns, The Searchers, almost the entire plot of Shanghai Noon, etc. etc. In the entire film, I felt that there was nothing original but the cheesy, over-the-top, horrendous action sequences. Are the creators just trying to top themselves after every crappy action sequence? And GOLD, wasn't even what the villains were after . . . it was silver. This film didn't even have enough money to make the primary objective of the villains, GOLD! Everything about this story is second-rate. It feels that the writers watched a bunch of Westerns and didn't actually do real research.
I thought this movie was rated PG, because it is not a kids' film. But when I heard it was PG-13, I was a little better knowing that 13 year-old children would be watching a film that blatantly makes fun of Native Americans, shows whorehouses as a fun place, and tells the audience that eating humans isn't so bad after all. Yes, there is cannibalism, whores, and racist Native American jokes. Which one to talk about first? Firstly, any time racism was referenced towards Native Americans, I died a little inside. The racism would work for this film if the film wasn't so fake and a cartoon. At the end of the film, the Camanche tribe is slaughtered by an American Army, in two seconds. And it's sad because the film doesn't know how to take itself seriously. I was also pretty mad that these Native Americans were the most stereotypical Natives in the Western handbook. This was after the Civil War, when the Native Americans traded in their bows and spears for rifles. But, these Camanche tribes that have been trading with the white man for years decide to go into a battle of a life time with seemingly no strategy, no rifles, bows or throwing items, and only a wooden shield and a tomahawk.
And how about that violence? Are we forgetting that this was the first film that features cannibal bunnies? There were cannibal bunnies. It was weird and had nothing to do with anything in the story. How about the villain who ate hearts and legs? Or the extreme amount of violence there was. I know this was a Western, but I watch The Rifleman, and that show knows how to make a Western without making it overtly violent. This film was pushed towards little kids and then we watch a man eat a heart and shoot down five guys. We watch a tribe of Camanche get mowed down by a gatling gun, and we watch our titular character pull another gatling gun towards women, children, the U.S. Army, and the corporate suits who built the railroad.
This film literally gave me a bloody nose while watching it. All the actors tried their best playing their characters, but this turned out to be one big toy commercial for children. The action was too dark, the action sequences were fake and mind boggling to watch, and the story was convoluted.
Good Qualities: None.
Bad Qualities: Everything.