'The Lone Ranger' One Big Scene: You Have a Train to Catch, Kemosabe

One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section.

Hi-ho, Silver… away to the theater, where Gore Verbinski has reunited with his Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp for the rollicking period Western The Lone Ranger.
 
Think of The Lone Ranger – a classic hero of radio and television – and you think of horses, guns, Indians and masks. So it goes without saying that our One Big Scene from Verbinski’s latest popcorn thriller involves… trains? I'll explain.
 
 
The Scene
A running theme of The Lone Ranger is the emergence of the locomotive as a means of connecting towns on the American West’s frontier. That allows Verbinski the opportunity to bookend his story with two memorable action set pieces involving chases above, under and through runaway trains. 
 
The concluding train sequence really pops, however, because the director is moving multiple pieces across several platforms while trying to wrestle his plot into submission. Depp’s Tonto, the Native American sidekick to Armie Hammer’s Lone Ranger, channels his inner Buster Keaton as he uses a well-placed ladder to move from one train to the next. The Ranger, atop Silver, races to retrieve his true love (Ruth Wilson) from the clutches of a pair of villains… and must dive – on his horse – between racing train cars. 
 
Few directors working today on this scale are able to stage so fluid an action set piece as Verbinski. The action in Lone Ranger mirrors the sweeping sea-bound sequences in the best of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies… only in a saddle. A lot of it can be seen in this TV spot, but it really needs to be seen on the big screen to appreciate the scale.
 

 
Do the critics agree? Some, though not many. 
 
What Critics are Saying:
The Lone Ranger succeeds on all counts -- perhaps too well. The movie is so imaginative, so brimming with ideas that it can't quite decide what to be.”
- Rafer Guzman, Newsday
 
“Those who go to The Lone Ranger because it stars Johnny Depp will come away satisfied by a performance that reminds them of his Pirates of the Caribbean character.”
 
“It's not until the last 15 minutes, when ‘The William Tell Overture’ arrives in its full glory, that this starts to feel a little like The Lone Ranger. But that's too little, too late."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews
 

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