Great 'Lone Ranger' action not enough in overworked film


"The Lone Ranger" is a big-screen version of the old radio show turned TV series. They're both entertaining to watch, but what exactly are you watching?

I thought I was heading in to see a big budget popcorn movie, and that's true, in part. But this Lone Ranger is much more than that. And in my opinion, that's the problem.

The film continuously moves from being silly to being serious, from slapstick to sad. It becomes hard to stay in any one frame of mind as it goes from being funny to being pretty violent. It's earned its PG-13 rating -- think about that before you take an 8-year-old.

And the story just feels far more complicated than it needs to be.

Director Gore Verbinski likes to go in-depth, but that attention helped balloon this film out to about two and a half hours. And you feel it.

That said, the last half-hour of "The Lone Ranger" is probably among the best 30 minutes you'll spend in a movie theater this summer. There's an action-filled, stunning chase sequence that makes you sit up and say "Wow!" It's visually just incredible, but when it's over, you wish more of the movie had that tone: fun, fresh and exciting.

I'm a big fan of Helena Bonham Carter, but when she appears, I suddenly felt like I was in a Tim Burton movie since she and Johnny have made so many of them together.

William Fichtner gives it his all as the film's nasty villain. He seethes despicable.

For its spectacular action sequences, "The Lone Ranger" hits a bulls-eye. But, in my opinion, it misses the target when it comes to the film's story and tone.

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