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Freeview film of the day: The Lone Ranger

Johnny Depp stars in a big-budget remake of the western series about a masked hero and his native American sidekick

Published: Saturday, 15th July 2017 at 11:01 pm

The Lone Ranger ★★★★
8.00-10.20pm BBC2

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Here’s an over-confident, big-money upgrade of the radio and TV serial of the 1930s, 40s and 50s from Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp (as a gruntingly profound and waywardly comic Tonto). This take on the masked do-gooder lines up impressive CGI-assisted spectacle against authentic scenery (from Utah to California), but fails to balance this with the story – goodies battle railroad tycoon; ghostly white horse carries supernatural element. The exacting opening train sequence could be taught in action movie school, but the overlong film becomes rather a slog thereafter, despite good work from Brits Ruth Wilson and Tom Wilkinson, and decency from Armie Hammer as the title hero. Hans Zimmer’s score does a lot of the heavy lifting. If you view it as a lengthy and visually extravagant bit of fun, you won’t be disappointed.

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