“The Lone Ranger”
Music By Hans Zimmer
Walt Disney/Intrada Records
11 Tracks/Disc Time: 49:30
There are some movies that are well unmemorable or with audiences nowadays unless you would’ve immediately known who the “Lone Ranger” was at least until it became this years’ “John Carter” for Disney yet again. The film which was pretty much hammered all over the place by critics despite positive references from audiences who actually saw the film, it really had no shot at becoming a bonafied hit in a very crowded summer that even featured another Disney blockbuster, “Monsters University” and yet another animated film to come in “Planes” this weekend. “The Lone Ranger” is simply one of those escapist, rousing wanna be epic films that really would’ve been appropriate for moviegoers more than twenty-years ago which would’ve thrilled fans more so then than they did and attempted to do also with minimal success with “The Legend of Lone Ranger” that was released in 1981. This version also based on the serial stars Johnny Depp in the sidekick role of Tonto with the meaty role of John Reid aka.The Lone Ranger to The Social Network’s Armie Hammer donning the famous mask. The film begins in the 1930’s, as an elderly Tonto tells a young boy the tale of John Reid, “the Lone Ranger”. An idealistic lawyer, he rides with his brother and fellow Texas Rangers in pursuit of the notorious Butch Cavendish (William Finchtner, “Armageddon”). Ambushed by the outlaw and left for dead, Reid is rescued by the renegade Comanche, Tonto, at the insistence of a mysterious white horse nicknamed Silver and offers to help him to bring him to justice. Becoming the reluctant masked rider with a seemingly incomprehensible partner, Reid pursues the criminal against all obstacles and soon learn that Cavendish is only part of a far greater injustice and the pair must fight it in an adventure that would make them a legend.
The film was directed by Gore Verbinski, who had knock-out success with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films in which Depp also starred and one of the reasons why he agreed to star in the film among others along with Depp’s favorite co-star, Helena Bonham Carter, Ruth Wilson, Barry Pepper and Tom Wilkinson to round out the cast. Another important member of Verbinski’s troupe of film’s past was the return of composer Hans Zimmer, who composed the music for the last three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films as well as being heavily involved in the original film as well as the Nicolas Cage dramady, “The Weather Man”. Zimmer who scored major (and somewhat undeserved kudos) for his score for the blockbuster hit, “Man Of Steel” which has become a best selling soundtrack, took on “The Lone Ranger”, which surprisingly features Zimmer at his very best channeling his older self in spurts and with greater success here than he did in “Man Of Steel”, which really deserved a score a good as this one is. This is fun, rousing affair that really makes you wonder why Zimmer has strayed away from what made him one of the best composers in the business in the late 80’s and 90’s and depending on others to help him more often.
Led by one of best tracks any soundtrack release this year, “Finale (William Tell Overture)”, which is an exciting and memorable rendition of the spirit of the legend of “The Lone Ranger” which was meticulously arranged and orchestrated by the very underrated Geoff Zanelli (“Into The West”) there’s a major reason to buy this film for it’s certainly this one. It’s just too good. The score itself, is very playful and entertaining with the Zimmer vibe working perfectly with the images and at times featuring a bit of an Ennio Morricone vibe and putting a bit of an emphasis on the character of Tonto, but also keeping focus on main character himself. “Never Take Off The Mask” and “Absurdity” features a touch of this Morricone styled vibe with a solo violin, a recurring flute motif that is playful and infectious mixed with Zimmer’s trademark electronics that will remind some of his scores to “Sherlock Holmes”. The tracks “Silver” and “Ride” provide some cool Western vibes to the material featuring a grand operatic trumpet solo by jazz legend Arturo Sandoval, which he also gives an outstanding performance in the William Tell Overture track. “You’re Just A Man In A Mask”, “The Railroad Waits For No Man” and “For God And Country” provide moments of both excitement and reflection to both our heroes in the story as Zimmer gives them some solid dramatic depth which the good parts of “Man Of Steel” did have. “Home” ends the album on a high note after the rousing energy of “Finale (William Tell Overture)” that is a positive fitting ending end to the score as well as the film where Zimmer gives our hero a moment of drama and reflection that is very lush and tender with an air of nobility to it.
Disney and Intrada Records’ album is a very solid production and features the best of everything that Zimmer wrote and it is a very tight album that doesn’t wear out its’ welcome too soon. It is energetic, original and surprisingly inspired for a change for Zimmer. I was really disappointed that “Man Of Steel” have a score that did have solid themes and positive energy going for it as much as I was surprised to learn that this one has. It comes to show that some movies have the better score than others and this is certainly one of them. “The Lone Ranger” is a positive and fun score that I will recommend because of it’s freshness and energy. Thumbs up!