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Monday
Jul 08 2013

Review: Depp & Tonto (and The Lone Ranger, Too)

这个评论最初发表在我的每周专栏在Towleroad

If Hollywood has its own wild wild west, a mythic frontier to tame, it is undoubtedly a time rather than a place: Next Summer.And the one after that.Release dates famously come before screenplays and the studios start laying down their tracks to get there: concept, screenplay, pre-production, casting, filming, editing, promotion, release though not usually quite in that sensible artistic order.Budgets often balloon on the way to the imagined gold at the end of the line.Or silver, as is the case with the name of a certain iconic horse, and the coveted metal driving the plot and the literal train tracks in the new version of独行侠

Hollywood hasn't revived this particular franchise in over 30 years, for what one assumes are three reasons: westerns have been notoriously difficult sells for modern mainstream audiences;the last time they attempted this franchise, it failed;and the Tonto character opens you up to charges of racism and cultural insensitivity in modern times.But if anyone could revive this dead franchise and skirt these issues, the thinking went, wouldn't it be director Gore Verbinski and his masses-beloved star Johnny Depp (rumored to have some sort of Cherokee heritage, and adopted into the Comanche Nation last year) who together did the impossible 10 years ago in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, making a well reviewed, Oscar-nominated, mega-blockbuster out of a famous amusement park ride while also navigating another even more notoriously pricey and difficult to sell outmoded genre: the pirate movie!

The director and star aren't so lucky this time around.[更多]

The film's signature image might say it all.Every five minutes or so (which is to say about 30 times given the interminable running time) Johnny Depp reaches up to pour seed onto the dead bird that crowns his Tonto costume.The seed falls pitifully to the ground, ungobbled.The bird is dead but Tonto, for his part, never seems to notice.When other characters point out the obvious deadness of this animal, he waves their concern aside as temporary inconvenience rather than fact.That's as great a metaphor as any for where we are in Johnny Depp's career.约翰尼·德普 is just going to keep doing this shtick absently, and forever, though we're long past the point of it being nutritious.One day, if we're to believe Tonto, the bird will fly again;the depressing monotony of its current state will be but a memory.

But can Depp the actor ever rise like a phoenix from the moneyed ash of his career?

他的最高成就(按时间顺序):1990年的剪刀手爱德华;1994年的艾德伍德;1997年的忠奸;2003的加勒比海盗

The mega-star's increasingly cartoonish persona should not disguise the fact that he was once one of the world's most brilliant actors.Years of repeating Jack Sparrow (more films are planned) and derivations thereof in Sparrow's lesser cousins (Sweeney Todd, Willy Wonka, The Mad Hatter) shouldn't cloud our memories of the lighting-in-a-bottle surprise of his original blockbuster.加勒比海盗began Johnny Depp's A List mega-millions phase but it was actually the peak rather than the breakthrough of his imagination and creativity as a film star.From his doubled feature debut in 1990 with John Waters'哭泣的婴儿and Tim Burton's剪刀手爱德华, two very different performances that were nevertheless perfectly pitched and styled for the comedy and pathos of their films, through his delusional cross-dresser in艾德伍德up to and including more recognizably human characters like troubled undercover agent忠奸and bumbling curious Ichabod Crane in断头谷, Johnny Depp was delivering fresh, often great and non-repetitive film performances for a good dozen plus years.

The behemoth success of the now immortal Jack Sparrow character ended the risk-taking.这是一个讽刺的命运现在著名的resistance he encountered to that performance by Disney executives viewing it in dailies and rough cuts who worried that it was just too weird, too fey, and too out there to work for the family crowd.

But back to Tonto.

The problems with独行侠are regrettably more mundane than the odd predicament of Johnny Depp's rutted career.The movie never commits to being any one particular kind of thing in direct contract to the original海盗which so loved the dead swashbuckler genre that it wasn't just embracing its corpse but humping it lustfully back to life.独行侠, in direct contrast, seems at least uninvested in the western and even a little embarrassed about itself as in its instant disposable of独行侠's "Hi-Yo, Silver. Away!" catchphrase (mocked rather than revived) and the way it keeps crushing the fun and laughs with repeated heavy reminders of the Actual Fate of American Indians and violence that's just way too grotesque for a family audience.And it's better not to speak at all of its truly terrible framing device in which Old Tonto tells his story to a little kid in the 1930s which keeps pulling you out of the adventure and must have been a braindead attempt to make it relatable to young kids (guess what, they won't find the 1930s any more relatable than the 1860s!)

See, you have to know who your audience is and独行侠emphatically doesn't.There is no check box marked "ALL!" under "Target Audience?" though Hollywood keeps trying to write one in.Films which appeal to everyone are beautiful flukes and they only achieve this universal reward by being the very best specific thing they set out to be.Despite a sparkling supporting cast (notably William Fictner, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson and Helena Bonham-Carter who is now contractually obligated to appear in every Johnny Depp picture) and handsome sets the film rarely thrills.For the rousing well mounted finish "The William Tell Overture" finally kicks in (replacing the too earnest Hans Zimmer score) and a crazy, and fun action setpiece on a speeding train commences.But by then the movie's already lost in the wilderness.独行侠rides swiftly past Comanche Territory and into Who Cares Country long before this final act.That's a country that no mega-budgeted summer release ever hopes to get lost in.And there's only a dead bird to guide it.

里德(艾米·汉莫)是具有“独行侠”一个非常粗略的时间

年级:C-
奥斯卡机会: Most of the craft categories outside of the costuming and makeup categories require big box office for traction (weird but mostly true) and since Oscar has been very unkind to Costume Designer Penny Rose, snubbing her for much greater work than this, the film's only chance is probably in Makeup and Hairstyling.

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Reader Comments (23)

This is one of the kinder reviews I've read.

I'm not going to see this, probably in any format.I love the old Lone Ranger serials and westerns in general and don't appreciate it when they try and make them into Transformers clones.The trailer put me off so much I'm not even sure rave reviews would have gotten me there.

July 8, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=Henry O.

I have no interest in the movie, the trailer looked terrible.It is truly a shame what has happened to Depp's reputation even if he has been a willing participant.I've never been a huge fan but he worked so hard to be taken seriously when he left 21 Jump Street and succeed and then chucked it all away.Even if he stuck to the big budget money train and did small challenging films in between as Brad Pitt does that might enable his rep to retain some patina of stature.Instead he does the cash grab lazy performances which puts him in with Tom Cruise and Will Smith, when was the last time either of them did anything resembling challenging work on screen?

July 8, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=joel6

TONTO: The Man in Front of the Mask, 1st biography of the original Tonto, Jay Silverheels, July 19 2013 release, see details on www.realpeopleshistory.com

July 8, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=zig misiak

I was *thrilled* when Depp won the SAG award for Pirates of the Carribean (though I still think Bill Murray should've won the Oscar that year).But the last decade has neutralized the goodwill enthusiasm, which is such a shame.(Come back to the 2003, Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp.)

On a side note, is this now three strikes for Armie Hammer?

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=Mareko

I absolutely loved this movie, just saw it today and am already to go back!I took my grandsons and we all had such a great time!It was a really fun fun movie...thank you!I am SOOOOOO glad I did not pay any attention to the negative hype our idiot media and the critics are spinning!Thanks Johnny and all for such a great entertaining 2.5 hours!On the way home my younger grandson asked me if it was because of Johnny Depp that I wanted to see the movie..I thought for a moment and said, you know what, I totally forgot that he was in the movie!He did an awesome job of the Tonto he played...我的孙子喜欢电影和像我一样 they were excited telling their Dad about it, they by the way are 11 & 13...

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=Inatif

“The Lone Ranger, in direct contrast, seems at least uninvested in the western and even a little embarrassed about itself"

I'm sorry, but this is absolutely, one hundred percent, emphatically wrong.Verbinski's love of the genre, and particularly (though not solely) the work of Sergio Leone, could only have come through more clearly if he superimposed, "I FUCKING LOVE WESTERNS!" across the sky in certain shots.What a bizarre, wildly off base thing to say.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=Roark

Go see the movie.If you like movies.If you want to dissect films to death, sit at home and read reviews.I've seen the film twice.It is fun and enjoyable.Everyone I've seen it with enjoyed it.And, I will go again.

Ok, so real people's views don't matter like the 'experts'.So, ignore me.。。or, ask your friends and neighbors.And see I ain't the only one.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=Christopher

I still have to defend the first Pirates movie, even though its not perfect, its still pretty fun.Even if it has kind of been tainted by the sequels.That alone made me have hope for this but it appears as if I shouldn't bother.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=paco.

Roark -- you know i've thought about that sentence a lot after writing it and I will concede that I overstated.But the dissing of its famous catchphrase is what i'm talking about in terms of disrespecting its origin genre/ itself.

I don't think this movie loves the westerns like Pirates love swashbucklers (too diffuse and tonally confused to concentrate on it) but, yeah, perhaps oversated.

July 9, 2013 | 纳撒尼尔 - [R

This is a really good review, very fair and insightful.You should have a look at Cayova which is offering $10,000 sponsorship opportunities for skilled bloggers like yourself.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=Glen Bray

Nathaniel - I agree with you about the "High-o Silver away" moment.Didn't take it to be a rejection of the genre, but it was an unfortunate choice - especially because I got a rush of excitement when Armie yelled it out, only to have Tonto buzzkill it immediately.I guess it was supposed to be cheesy?I'm too old fashioned for that or something.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=Roark

All the goodwill that I gave Verbinski and Depp with Rango (a very good animated movie that was an homage to the more cartoonish aspects of the Old West that was conscious of the territory of that humor firmly belonging to the people at Looney Tunes) was rescinded.That goodwill seems to have had more to do with John Logan as the screenwriter.

If Verbinski saw this as an opportunity to put a revisionist spin on the Western genre (which let's face it has been the mode of every respected Western for the last 30 years), he made a fatal choice.He chose an out of date brand that nobody was asking for as a movie adaptation and one that did not necessarily lend itself to be a PG-13 rated DISNEY movie with brothels, scalpings, and heart-eating.The Pirates movies also did not call on itself to be a movie but it was fun and that ride always featured the seediness with the swash-buckling.独行侠 was dated and square but of its time and made for mass-consumption.

Christopher- Yeesh.Nobody is angered that you liked the movie.But people don't like people who carry around a martyr complex for liking a movie because 'experts' did not.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=CMG

Christopher, sorry, if you can't even get a decent trailer out of a two-and-a-half-hour flick, then it's DOA.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=brookesboy

Zig Misiak the 'real' TONTO, a new book July 19 2013 biography of Jay Silverheels, TONTO: The Man in Front of the Mask, http://www.realpeopleshistory.com/tonto.html

This new book will help separate fact from fiction and help others, other than babyboomers who already know, understand the original Tonto aka Jay Silverheels.The book is respectful of the Native/First Nations perspective and portrayal as Jay's relatives were interviewed and validated the information.
To know the 2013 Tonto you have to know the 'original' Tonto aka Jay Silverheels from the 50's movies......in order to make an informed decision and subsequent comments about the Depp version.

July 9, 2013 | 未注册的批评家“ class=zigmisiak

I have a number of problems with The Lone Ranger but not with the framing device.
I thought the old Tonto telling the story was necessary to cover for the gaps in the story and the physical impossible moments.It is the story told to a child by a old man who is a bit crazy.The audience is meant to question is this how it really was.
I am not a fan of the unreliable narrator but sometimes it seems required eg
Life of Pi.
Nathaniel, you have put more thought into your review than some but why does it seem
人们想要查看约翰尼·德普的职业生涯,而不是电影?德普50
有没有对演员很多先例谁是在20多岁30多岁和仍然推崇
如此它50岁。

July 9, 2013 | 的VAU

我同意NAT,德普是不是真的挑战自己,而是躲在后面weid人物和我同意witht他布拉德comparrison过,皮特承担风险,这就是为什么他有更多的成功的B /关,奖励和评论家明智最近,

July 9, 2013 | 标记

我真的很怀念上世纪90年代/ 21世纪初的约翰尼·德普。看来这几天他已经失去了在制定这样的表现是正确的电影所有的兴趣,反而让电影被他周围制作这个品种懒惰的演技,以及最严重的电影。

我喜欢冒险电影,并希望这一直是一个很好的一个。但很可惜,所有帐户这是相当可怕的。

July 9, 2013 | 欧文

的VAU - 这是一个有效的问题,我认为人们之所以这样做是(我并不是唯一一个谁陷害了这个局面德普)是很难不边看它认为所有他的其他角色。当一个演员重复自己太多的每一部电影becoems上所有其他的人的评论。这就是为什么人们开始打开迪卡普里奥为好。

为尊重不持久,当一个演员变老。这里有很多的是真实的例子,但几乎总是那是因为男主角停止挑战自我。我的意思是人还是尊重保罗·纽曼,直到他去世,但他始终是一个勤奋的演员谁了角色的重视。不是一个真正的类型“在领情”。同上梅丽尔·斯特里普。帕西诺和德尼罗已经采取了殴打自己的声誉,但它并不是因为人是善变的。这是因为他们不再是辉煌!

我想这是非常难以实现真正的电影明星不断尝试,因为饥饿感消失。他们并不需要工作,所以他们有本质上想挑战自我,在专业只为艺术,以保持饥饿对艺术(另见:妮可·基德曼)

July 9, 2013 | 纳撒尼尔 - [R

梅丽尔·斯特里普可能是一个伟大的性格演员,但她必须是舞会皇后,剩下的就是当一个演员给予称赞不已不管发生什么事情。

July 10, 2013 | 3rtful

我的朋友和我看着它YST,我们喜欢它这么多。约翰尼·德普做了了不起的工作,作为通托。我差点忘了,他真的是谁。除了一些暴力场面等切断心脏,这部电影很有趣,有趣!

July 10, 2013 |

我丈夫和我喜欢这部电影,非常有趣。他们采取了一些有趣的事,只是一点点进一步推信封....像喂死乌鸦。不分析这部电影,只是享受的愚蠢。

August 11, 2013 | 沙龙^ h

它发生一次7或8年,但我认为几乎是相同的。

维宾斯基值得兰戈后更好。

October 13, 2013 | 古斯塔沃

我真的很喜欢这部电影,但我做的其他人,他可以做的更好同意。他是我最喜欢的演员肯定之一,这部电影让我失望了一点。

June 2, 2014 | 艾琳

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