The Lone Ranger is everything you’ve heard about it, and more. Or less, depending on how you look at it. It’s certainly richly gorgeous to look at, and the scenes of the Wild West town and the construction of the railway look fantastic. But. But. Oh where do I even begin with the buts?
The Lone Ranger is jump-the-shark literally from start to finish. The western stuff is all fine but – and I don’t mean to give anything away – it’s got all this ridiculous supernatural stuff, spirit walking and carnivorous bunnies and resurrection from the dead and a self-aware fire-jumping horse, that it’s like two completely different movies. Johnny Depp both underacts and overacts at the same time, and Armie Hammer is basically Prince Andrew Alcott from Mirror Mirror, stumbled in from that other, more charming movie. If you want to know what it’s like, think Pirates of New Mexico, all hubris and bombast and stunts and overblown score. Oh, whatever. One of these days I’ll come down off the fence and tell you what I really thought about it.
I always wonder how and why movies like Mirror Mirror get green-lit. I mean, teen boys aren’t exactly clamoring for Snow White as a super-heroine, aliens don’t blow shit up, there are no car chases starring cool Ryan Gosling. So who persuades who that such a film needs funding? Perplexing.
Yet Mirror Mirror succeeds, I think, because the script is wry and clever – “No! You can’t change the ending,” complains the Prince “The old one works. It’s been focus-grouped” – and the entire cast looks to be having an absolute blast. Julia Roberts, initially off-putting as a the bad guy, is a treat as the selfish queen, and Armie Hammer is hardly bad on the eye, either. And the Seven Dwarves so often a gut-churningly awful, miscast element of this fairy tale, are uniformly excellent.
So Mirror Mirror is really all just radiant, charming, good-natured and gorgeous to look at. There’s still absolutely no reason for this film to exist, and I have no idea whether it’ll make it’s money back, but it’s a fun way to spend a 90 minutes anyway. It shot in Quebec.