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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Embarrassing, hilarious, painful unthinking of a classic western

Author: Thirdover4 from Los Angeles
1 March 2003

With his black leather pants, mask and open shirt, skinny Chad Murray looked more like a gay stripper than a western action hero. The most absurd, ludicrous dialogue I've ever heard, sounded more like it was written by the teenage girls than for teenage girls, the audience it was clearly aimed at. An unintentional laugh riot, this obvious attempt at modernizing the classic story is the type of work that ends careers. Sad but funny..

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

The worst film EVER made for television - Unintentionally hilarious!

Author: tipplerunkus
6 July 2003

I was shocked and amazed to discover that, at the the time I wrote this review, the 2003 WB TV version of "The Lone Ranger" actually had a respectable rating here on the IMDB. This movie was the worst kind of dreck imaginable - "Plan 9 From Outer Space" bad.

That said, it's a must see for anyone who enjoys bad movies. This could have been one of the best episodes of "Mystery Science Theater 3000". I saw it on tape, and there were times when had to pause it for up to five minutes because I was laughing too hard at supposedly dramatic moments to hear what happened next.

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Carson City, 90210

Author: DrStrangeFate from West Coat, USA.
1 March 2003

Chad Michael Murray just didn't have the screen presence to really pull this off. He just isn't very believable in the role and frankly, the Lone Ranger is a man to be feared and respected... Chad Michael Murray might be a teen heart throb but is not somebody that is the least bit intimidating. I thought that Nathaniel Arcand's rendition of Tonto was interesting, he does have more screen presence than Chad Michael Murray although he was a little heavy on the angst to be a very likeable character. If this ever becomes a series then hopefully he will tone it down a few notches. The brief romance angle between Tonto's sister and Luke Hartman was okay, the bath scene and explicit sexual overtones may have been a little over the top though as younger kids should be able to watch a show like this. I did like the mystical elements introduced, it adds an interesting angle to the character although the silly power-jumping stuff reminded me of an old show called Manimal for some odd reason.

The background elements of the plot were loosely based on the established story... you know the one that has been established from the books, comics, TV show, and movies for 60 or so years. The writers apparently thought they could do better and decided to make changes that really didn't need to be made. I am not sure why they changed his name to Luke Hartman from Dan Reid.. again, a fact that has been established for over 60 years. I wonder if the copyright holder insisted that these name changes be made so that this is some type of "parallel-universe" version of the Lone Ranger and not the real thing. The overall design of the sets were good, whoever did the technical advising for the movie did a pretty good job. The hip hop music was P*A*I*N*F*U*L... in fact, most of the music was extremely inappropriate and instead of making the scenes hip, they made them awkward and confused. They did give a half-hearted nod to the real Lone Ranger by playing the William Tell Overture at the end and although the rendition was pretty good, the cinematics should have been better... it just looked silly, this skinny guy riding along with this giant Indian guy riding next to him... just who is the sidekick here anyway?

The Lone Ranger's costume was pretty lousy, bearing zero continuity to the actual character and much more like a reject from the Village people. I know they are trying to make him look hip and cool but in doing so have made the character very undistinctive, average, and boring. Gone were all the trademarks elements that are part of the character. It seems to me that when you take a character as well known as the Lone Ranger, you should at least get people to make the film that have some granual of respect for the character itself and include at least some of the elements that make the character as enduring as it has been. When you change as much as these people have then you have a totally different product... this was not the Lone Ranger but rather a cheap knockoff masquerading as the Lone Ranger.

Overall, the movie reminded me of Sony's Godzilla remake.. and is once again proof positive that completely re-inventing a classic icon is foolish and stupid because you automatically alienate any real fan base out there. Most males over the age of 30 probably grew up watching the real Lone Ranger on TV or listening to Radio shows when they were kids. I was hoping for a semi-mature effort from WB but instead we ended up with their usual, predictable attempt to lure in the young, hip crowd with a product that is cliche' and an insult to anybody that knows anything about the character. If this is going to be a series (ugh) , the only hope will be to grow this lame character into more of what it is traditionally suppose to be and introduce those elements that make the Lone Ranger special, but then again it seems some people feel that anything that rebels against tradition is the right thing to do.. how sad. The only redeeming value of this movie is that it made the 1981 flop "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" movie look much better. It was universally disliked because most people felt it strayed too far from the original but after watching it again and comparing it to this lame duck, it is about 100 times better than I remember it. If this ever becomes a series could it be saved? yes, but will it be saved? Probably not and that's a shame.

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Total, utter, inept junk !

Author: ADRIAN JAMES from Cambridge, England
31 August 2004

As a western fan, I was keen to watch this remake of what is considered now a classic tale. I anticipated John Reed, dressed in Ranger clothes, being ambushed with the other rangers, left for dead, discovered by Tonto, discovering the injured Silver...etc. What I was presented with was quite possibly the worst film to ever grace a screen! The lead stars are miscast and the recognized storyline has been blown away completely! For starters, the modern, rock-soundtrack is pathetic throughout. Terrible! And where is John Reed? Why change the name? That's like saying the Frankenstein monster was created by Charlie McGuffin, that Dr. Jekyll turned into Mr. Bloggs, that Zorro's secret identity was Bernard Pickles! What utter rubbish! Then comes the martial arts! Tonto is a Jackie Chan figure, and later, the pathetic Lone Ranger himself miraculously flies through the air to the supposed rescue! Jack Bender has proved himself to be a creditable director in the past. Why on earth he should take on board this juvenile, amateurish excuse for a film, God knows! The producers and everyone associated with the film should be exiled! Bring back Clayton and Jay, PLEASE!!!!!!

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

What Were They Thinking?

Author: Bcaldc10 from California
28 February 2003

Wow. There is nothing wrong with updating a classic and making it appeal to a younger, new audience but this was way too much. Too much talk, not nearly enough action, and the script! Those native-Americans had the best diction and vocabularies of any Indians I've ever seen on screen. The wardrobe was absurd also. The Lone Ranger looked more like a last-minute invitee

to a bad costume party. It was fine to change the clothes to darker colors than seen before but they didn't look very Western at all. Chad Murray was O.K. and could have really made a mark if this film had been more of a Western and a lot less of a grating, ill-conceived teens only show with a ridiculous sound- track. Ivy League native-Americans, 21st Century soundtrack, bad wardrobe, and way too much talk. No wonder this wasn't picked-up as a regular series by The WB. For that we can all be grateful.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

The horse was the best actor in it!

Author: zenkidu from Boston, MA
28 February 2003

This movie was bad even for a made for tv flick. And what's worse it looked like a series pilot, not a one shot deal. The plot was insipid, the acting vapid, and the setting total fantasy. Tonto is a kung fu fighter. The lone ranger is an androgynous pretty boy. The Apaches are all ethics professors not warriors, and they are dressed and live like generic hollywood plains Indians, not people from the southwest. Wes Studi who I love, seemed to be reprising his role from Mystery Men. Basically a bunch of pretty people running around spouting new age platitudes and morality in a totally unbelievable story.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Were they serious?

Author: the23rdphantom from B'Ham, AL
27 February 2003

This piece of work was just plain HI-YO-AWFUL. The actors they cast to portray the Ranger and Tonto were too young, obviously to target the WB crowd since that was the network to show this yuck. The lead actor, who couldn't frighten anyone with or without the mask, looked like he just stepped off the Dawson's Creek set(which he did) and was clearly out of his league. Tonto and his tribe sounded just as white-washed as they do today. I hope if the WB plans on doing anymore retellings they at least get some things right. Not even the name of the Ranger was correct. I bet Clayton Moore is rolling in his grave.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Complete waste of film

Author: daniducci
3 March 2003

The only redeeming quality about this "movie" is the depiction of Tonto as a self assured warrior with leadership abilities. Outside of this one aspect, the rest of the movie was nothing more than a poorly written insult to the history of the Lone Ranger.

While not the first adaptation to get the name wrong, the fact that they change the name from John Reid to Luke Hartman tells you just how little respect the writers have for the character. On top of that, you get a scrawny kid who doesn't even shave yet to play the part? He better be a crack shot, cause there's no way he survives in a hand-to-hand fight.

Bad acting, bad writing, silly action sequences, and a complete lack of respect for the story make for a completely worthless movie. And just to add insult to injury, they have to mangle the William Tell Overture? While a few teenage girls might enjoy this as eye-candy, it lacks any actual quality to make it worth watching.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

No acting Silver, away!

Author: Joseph Pintar from New Hartford, NY
27 February 2003

This movie is unintentionally funny. The actors look a hundred years out of place. There are scenes which look like the makers of this movie saw The Doors and On Deadly Ground too many times with its spiritual mysticism. The lead actor (I forget his name and it's probably just as well) looks like he would have trouble leading little old ladies across the street, let alone seek revenge on killers. You don't feel like you are watching a western but somebody's home movies of people trying to act like cowboys. I haven't seen the universally panned 1981 movie Legend of the Lone Ranger in a long time, but I remember it being better than this. Still the movie is watchable in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 kind of way.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Disaster in writing - spoilers

Author: Carl from United States
28 February 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Talk about a disaster. I'm not talking about the actors (who did a good job with what they had), I'm talking writing. The writers changed the origins of the Lone Ranger as though they had no idea what the "legend" was all about. Sure, you expect them to take some liberties, updating the story somewhat, these writers rewrote "history".

First, they changed the lead character's "real" name from John Reid to Luke Hartman (The Lone Ranger, created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, also were responsible for The Green Hornet, and there was a link between the two programs. John Reid's nephew was supposedly the father of Britt Reid, who became the crime fighter Green Hornet - talk about changing the space/time continuum). In the original, John Reid had been one of a posse of six Texas Rangers tracking Butch Cavendish and his gang of desperados. In this remake, Luke Hartman did not really ride with a posse of, now, twelve Texas Rangers, he caught up with them to ride with his brother. In the original, the Rangers were lured into an ambush in a canyon, and five of them were slaughtered. In this version, the ambush of the Texas Rangers was cowardly; they were shot while they were bedded down for the night. In the original Butch Cavendish and his gang were the villains, this version, it was Kansas City Haas and his regulator gang. John Reid, in the original, was left for dead. But Reid managed to crawl to safety near a water hole, where he was found and nursed back to health by a friendly Indian named Tonto. This version, Luke Hartman was left for dead, but was found holding his brother, taken back to the Indian village and nursed back to health by Tonto's sister. Originally, Reid had once helped Tonto. Now, Tonto meets Luke Hartman when an extremely inept Luke tried to save Tonto's sister in the beginning of the movie. In the original, the Lone Ranger molded his bullets from a silver mine that he and his brother had discovered. This new version never mentioned silver bullets.

Finally, Kung Fu type fighting replaced fists and the renowned "Lone Ranger Theme" (William Tell Overture), was only played briefly at the end. In the short, only the names of Tonto, Silver and the alias Lone Ranger remained the same.

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