Friday, August 9, 2013

The Heroes of Yesteryear: Why Disney's The Lone Ranger Performed Poorly

How many of us grew up with characters like Zorro, The Green Hornet, and The Lone Ranger? I didn't. Hell I was lucky to be introduced to these characters by my father. He loved these characters and there is on character he really loved more than all of them. That character was The Lone Ranger.  Please don't think this is going to be a memoir type of blog post. It's going to be an explanationof why it did poorly in the box office and a redemption of the new Disney film The Lone Ranger.
First off, I love the film. I loved every scene, every moment, and every second of it. I remember going in the theater and thinking to myself "Man this film is going to suck." But I was wrong. Of course the critics say that the film was complete crap. And you know, they are dead wrong. (Just like they were wrong about Man of Steel. That film rocked!) So as a consequence I will no longer take critics seriously. Ever. Nor will I ever let their critique of a film, neither good or bad, dictate the decision of any film I watch. (For the record, that has never happen. But I did used to read reviews before watching a film. I won't do that. I might read the reviews until after I watch the film. Maybe.)

Disney's The Lone Ranger was one (out three) of the funnest films I have seen. It was just awesome. I loved the characters, especially Armie Hammer's interpretation for the Lone Ranger. Johnny Depp was also fun to
see as Tonto, but I did feel like he was putting in his Captain Jack Sparrow into the role of Tonto. It wasn't distracting but one couldn't help to notice it. So of the people online who claimed to not have enjoyed it, have stated that the film was long, boring and stupid. Really? I bet these are the same people who think Transformers and The Fast and The Furious films are good films. I call b.s. on these people. I have two good reasons why The Lone Ranger didn't do so well in the box office. (Well I think we can manage to squeeze in three. Maybe.)

First off, The Lone Ranger is old. I'm talking 1933 old. It used to be a radio show (according to Wikipedia) and was then move to be a television show (according to my dad) in 1949 to 1957. The Lone Ranger was played by Clayton Moore and Tonto was played by Jay Silverheels (Lone Ranger fans and Hollywood bluffs already know this. Feel free to skip a couple of paragraphs). From 1957 to 2013, there's been a long gap in between. Since the Lone Ranger is an old character and since the series ended in 1957, people have forgotten about him. Not everyone, but many have. Most of my friends didn't even know who the Lone Ranger. Many did not grow up with this character. Those who had, are either dead, old, or missing. (This explains why there were so many old folks in the theater when I saw it opening day.) Again I thank my father and mother, because oddly when they were kids they would gather around the tv and watch the adventures of the Lone Ranger. And years later, they would show me those episodes (and to be truthful I never really liked to watch the Lone Ranger because I thought the show was boring. OF course that changed now!) But you see dear reader, generations of Americans did not get introduced to the Lone Ranger. Kids never knew the Lone Ranger, MY generation doesn't know who he is. It was a good idea for Disney to try to re-introduce the character back into our lives. But because many don't know who this strange masked character is, they won't watch it. No mater how much Disney re-enforces the idea that it came from the producers of Pirates of the Caribbean.

That brings us to the second reason. Since people don't know who the Lone Ranger is, well most folks would rather take their children to watch something that they already know. See we as Americans fear change. We don't trust the unknown. It's the reason why we chose Mc Donald's rather than eat across the street at that mom and dad burger joint. We have to remember that The Lone Ranger was competing with Despicable Me 2, a stupid kiddie film, and when it comes to kids and teenage girls, it's the kiddies who win anything. Think about. When I went to go see The Lone Ranger, there was a huge (and I mean huge) line just to stand outside of the theater room for Despicable Me 2. There were kids everyone! Loud, annoying kids everywhere! But for The Lone Ranger there were hardly any kids in there (but there was a few). It lost money because Despicable Me 2 was more attractive towards kids. Disney underestimated Dreamworks (or whoever the hell makes Despicable Me).

The last little reason I have is this: Why the hell did Disney invest so much money (somewhere around $800 million, I think)? Where was that put in? The film didn't even need CGI, in fact there is so little CGI! What the hell! (Tax dollars at work.) Maybe if Disney haven't invested so much, then maybe they wouldn't have lost so much money. (Maybe it's pay back for raising the prices on those Disneyland tickets!)

The film wasn't even bad. IT was cool, awesome. A good western film. The plot was a little choppy and Captain Jack Sparrow made a few cameo appearances, but for what it was, it was a fun film. Like I said I enjoyed it. Maybe folks weren't happy that Armie Hammer was playing a character whose only face they imagined to be the Lone Ranger was Clayton Moore. And I understand that (hell I'd be pretty pissed if there was a new Indiana Jones and no Harrison Ford playing him), But honestly I love the film. I am now officially a huge Lone Ranger fan. I like the character almost as much as I love Indiana Jones (that's not weird right?) But Armie Hammer played a damn good John Reid/Lone Ranger. Damn good. Johnny Depp played a cool Tonto. There characters, if the person is familiar with them, are classic. Most don't understand that the Lone Ranger doesn't kill, EVER!  Maybe that's why some didn't like it? Who knows. All I know is that I like it, and people should give it a chance. A big chance. I would love to see a sequel anytime soon. Disney, as much as I love to dislike you, I always sort of have a soft spot for you. Ladies and gentleman, adios!

Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. The heroes of yesteryear


1 comment:

  1. Disney was really hoping they'd make a big splash. Dumb move for them. Fiscally anyway