On July 3, Disney released The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. Disney was hoping that this remake would be the beginning of another franchise like The Pirates of the Caribbean. With a budget of 250 million, the film needed a lot of ticket sales to be a success. Unfortunately for Disney the film did poorly in its opening and has been labeled a bomb by pretty much everyone. This came as a surprise to the execs at Disney because the team behind this was pretty much the same as the Pirates movies. I am sure there will be much hand wringing and discussion in Hollywood to figure out why this turned out to be a flop. Some will blame the genre (westerns) and others will blame the actors. However, I think the blame falls on the script writers and producers who let this film make it to the box office.
I was one of the few, I guess, to go see the movie. My wife and I love western movies and were excited to go see it. The heyday of The Lone Ranger came before I was born but my dad loved it. Therefore I saw a lot of the tv show growing up. When I heard that a new Lone Ranger was being made by the same people as the Pirates movie, I was excited to see it. When the negative reviews flowed in, I didn’t let that keep me from the movie. However after watching the movie, I can say that what killed this movie was a liberal/progressive agenda that turned the title character into something he was never intended to be.
First of all, it was not all bad. The scenery was beautiful and the special effects where spectacular. The actors did a pretty good job with the script they were given. The movie was action packed as well. The music was very well done. When William Tell’s Overture kicked it almost felt like the original Lone Ranger. That is where it’s connection to the original really ended.
What ultimately did this movie in was a total lack of respect for its source material. Instead the movie was drowned in liberal/progressive idealism. When movies are made that are remakes or a treatment on a book, two problems can occur. First, the producers can be so in love with the source materal that they do not do anything original. Superman Returns is an example of this problem. The producers of that movie where so in love with the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeves that they tried too hard to copy it. This first problem though is pretty rare.
The problem that occurs more often than not is that the movie does not treat its source with any respect or fairness. That is the problem of The Lone Ranger. When watching this movie it becomes evident that the producers did not have any fondness for the Lone Ranger character himself. This is evident by the fact that the character of the Lone Ranger in this movie is a bumbling naive idiot for most of the movie. There are constant jokes about the mask that he wears. The final scene is a mockery of the classic Loner Ranger line, ” Hi-Yo, Silver Away.” One scene in particular is indicative of how the producers felt about the Lone Ranger. Tonto purposely drags an unconscious Lone Ranger through horse manure. The movie seemed like an attempt to drive the ideals of the classic Lone Ranger through manure.
The original Lone Ranger was no idiot. He was a hero for kids to look up to and emulate. He lived by a strict code which included the belief “in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.” The original Lone Ranger was a man of God and the actor who played Tonto, Jay Silverheels was a Christian. The son of Silverheels even has a video on amazon where he preaches the gospel. It can be found here.
The new movie though portrays Christians as weak hateful fools or as villains. The main villain in the movie even prays a prayer to Jesus while getting ready to kill others. In a review of the movie Jeffrey Weiss lays out the movies portrayal of Christianity:
“We first meet the man who will don the mask as he sits in a train car otherwise filled with annoyingly hymn-singing Presbyterians. Their musicians are crummy and their singing is off-key. Attacked moments later by outlaws, the Presbyterian pastor’s attempt at a nonviolent resolution is met with a bullet to the leg. Take that, blessed peacemaker.Later in the movie, we spot the pastor again, limping and wild-haired and all but frothing at the mouth as he screams “Heathen!” as the Ranger and Tonto ride by.”
But what about the Lone Ranger? Surely the producers would have realized that he was a Godly man. Nope, in the movie when the Lone Ranger is asked to pray, he responds by holding up John Locke’s Two Treatise on Government and saying that it is his bible. That statement is just ridiculous on several fronts. First of all, as said above the original Lone Ranger stood for belief in God and country. Second of all, no one in their right mind would point to John Locke’s Two Treatise and declare that to be his Bible. They would not do that because Locke’s Two Treatise quote the Bible over 1500 times. This is indicative of the liberal ideology of the film. Liberals for years have been trying to claim John Locke as a secular philosopher who may have dabbled in deism. John Locke though would beg to differ. Locke once said, ““The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting!” But liberals don’t let facts get in the way, so in this movie John Locke’s Two Treatise are purely secular. But don’t think that the movie producers are going to make a positive statement about Lockes ideas. We all know that liberals are not too fond of Locke’s ideas anyways especially the idea of private property. Which is why in the film the only other person who knows about John Locke’s Two Treatise is the bad guy.
So now the bad guy is a Christian with a fondness for John Locke. But that is not all. He is also a capitalist with a desire to build railroads. He also has a “sick desire” to have a family of his own. His greatest fault is being a white man, which is really the point of the movie. It is to paint white conservatives in bad light. Thus the Lone Ranger who is white can only get a pass by being naive and foolish. The Lone Ranger naively believes in the ideals of John Locke and the rule of law. The Lone Ranger is also anti-gun.
This movie released on the forth of July week has a big problem with America. The US Armed forces are portrayed as tools for the bad guys. And even the singing of the National Anthem in the movie is interrupted by Tonto. America’s ideals and heritage are turned into evil traits.
The movie is really just an attempt to take an American hero and turn him on his head while using the platform to showcase anti-American, anti-Christian racism. To highlight the racist element of the film, Tonto has described the villain as a demon the whole movie long. But at the climax and conclusion of battle, Tonto says to the villain, “You’re not a demon, you are just a white man.” The only word missing was “typical” as in “you’re not a demon, you are just a typical white man.” I hate racism in all its forms and would be just as upset if this was putting down Asians,Africans, or any other race. However it seems that it is OK to be racist now as long as you are putting down white people. It is OK to be a bigot as long as you are putting down Christians. This is the tolerance of liberals.
I am more than convinced this movie fell flat because the producers showed no respect for the source material. They showed no respect for the character of the Lone Ranger, who used to be a role model and hero to many Americans. They showed no respect for America’s heritage. Another review by Steven D. Greydanus puts it this ways:
“It isn’t just the masked hero himself the filmmakers don’t love. Verbinski and company flip the bird, just about literally, to everyone and everything in sight: Tonto (wearing the bird on his head); the Western genre and the heroic ideal as such; the United States and just about everything connected with it, from its military and industry to its rule of law and religious heritage.”
The problem is that much of Hollywood has forgotten how to make heroes that stand for virtue and morals. Instead they instinctively push a liberal worldview in which virtue is vice and vice is virtue.