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Film & DVD

Don’t write off ‘The Lone Ranger’

Retelling of old Western makes for the least serious, most intellingent action move of the year

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What makes The Lone Ranger such a damned good time is Verbinski’s rollicking, realistic action sequences. He reportedly built miles of actual train track on location in New Mexico to enact the multiple runaway train scenarios, which somehow never get old. The four quarter horses that play the Lone Ranger’s iconic Silver should all be given top billing and a shot at Best Supporting Actor for their agility and adorable scene-chomping. And yes, the grand finale involving the horse, two heroes, two villains, two speeding trains, one damsel in distress, a baffled kid and a whole lot of dynamite goes down to the William Tell Overture, the theme music of the radio and television series. Whether you enjoy that scene is at least as credible proof of American citizenship as a photo I.D.

Yet amid all the fun (149 minutes of it, to be exact), there’s a slight subversiveness to the plot, which takes a clear-eyed look at the raw deal offered Native Americans, and the lies white people told to placate themselves. The film’s true ending, after a hearty guffaw promising a sequel, shows old Tonto shuffling off, alone, in an ill-fitting Western suit, into the vast expanse of nothing that he used to call his home.

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