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“Who was that masked man?” seems ever an appropriate question for the recent rendition of “The Lone Ranger,” starring Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as “Tonto,” his iconic Indian sidekick. The reason I say this is that “The Lone Ranger” film did not really fit in the library of movies, books and storytelling from the legend. This movie was nothing more than a third installment of “Shanghi Noon,” a movie I liked at the time I saw it in college but was by no means a classic or appropriate for polite company.

Positive Elements

There were a few good scenes in “The Lone Ranger,” especially the finale. The movie even made good use of “The William Tell Overture,” a song I love to hear and play (on my trumpet). With many of the characters, we get to see a moral development, especially the man that becomes “The Lone Ranger.” Moviegoers also are forced to grapple with the concepts of justice and the plight of Native Indians, who dealt with the Westward expansion of the Frontier.

Negative Elements

I guess I don’t have a major problem with showing violence for a purpose, to display the evil of characters (as long as it is not unnecessarily graphic), but this movie went too far. There was even cannibalism, folks. The bad language throughout was pronounced, and I understand that the Old West had prostitution, but the movie reveled in it too much.

Spiritual Elements

Christianity did not have a favorable view in the Wild West portrayal. “The Lone Ranger” himself was, at best, a benign deist whose “bible” was the writings of John Locke. The language throughout was a problem for youth, and the Lord’s Name was taken in vain (though it was hard to hear anything among the scenes of gun-firing).


Critics and people at the box office alike are turning their noses up at “The Lone Ranger.” While the movie had its entertaining moments, it fell flat and by its crude, inappropriate content, missed a chance to make a movie that would shape the moral imaginations of children for years.

Rating 2 stars (out of 4)