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The Lone Ranger team blames critics for why the film bombed in theaters

08.06.2013

The Lone Ranger

Oh boy, this could get ugly. A good chunk of the cast and crew for THE LONE RANGER (Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer) were recently interviewed by Yahoo! Movies Uk & Ireland about their big summer flop, and they put almost all the blame on the critics as to why the movie bombed so hard in theaters.

Hammer starts by saying that he feels most critics already reviewed the film when it was originally shut down due to concerns about the movie's budget:

This is the deal with American critics. They’ve been gunning for our movie since it was shut down the first time. And I think that’s probably when most of the critics wrote their initial reviews.

Johnny Depp also added his thoughts on critics of THE LONE RANGER and how he didn't expect the film to be a blockbuster:

I think the reviews were probably written when they heard Gore [Verbinksi] and Jerry [Bruckheimer] and me were going to do ‘The Lone Ranger.’ Then their expectations of it that, you know, it must be a blockbuster. I didn’t have any expectations of that. I never do. Why would I?

Gee, I don't know Mr. Depp. Maybe people thought THE LONE RANGER was suppose to be a huge movie since over $200 million was sunk into the sucker. Why would such an ungodly amount of money be spent on a film if someone didn't expect it to be financially successful? I'm pretty sure studios don't like losing money.

Jerry Bruckheimer continues the THE LONE RANGER conversation by talking about the film's budget:

I think that they were reviewing the budget and not reviewing the movie. The audience doesn’t care what the budget is. They pay the same amount to see the movie whether it cost a dollar or $20 million. [...] It’s one of those movies that, whatever critics missed it this time, will re-review it in a few years and see that they made a mistake. [...] The critics keep crying for original movies. You make one, and they don’t like [it], so what can I tell you?

I partially agree with Bruckheimer's comments about the film's budget. Many average movie goers aren't going to care about how much a film costs to make, but I don't think that many critics (or movie sites) were ready to declare the film bad just because of the its budget. And would any of you really call THE LONE RANGER an original film? It's not like Gore Verbinski created the character.

Although Verbinski seems to think THE LONE RANGER is original as well:

Our movie is not a sequel, and it doesn’t have giant robots and the Lone Ranger can’t fly. I think we’re counter-programming. So, if you want to see something different, come see the movie. It’s odd to be given a lashing because of that.

I'm sorry but even with those slight differences from other films, a huge big budget film by Disney in the middle of the summer starring Johnny Depp is NOT counter-programming. It's just...well it's just programming, isn't it? Armie Hammer than goes on to talk about how many negative reviews for THE LONE RANGER weren't actually about the movie:

If you go back and read the negative reviews, most of them aren’t about the content of the movie, but more what’s behind it. It’s got to the point with American critics where if you’re not as smart as Plato, your stupid. That seems like a sad way to live your life. While we were making it we knew people were gunning for it. I think it was the popular thing when the movie hit rocky terrain they jumped on the bandwagon to try and bash it. They tried to do the same thing with to ‘World War Z’, it didn’t work, the movie was successful. Instead they decided to slit the jugular of our movie.

WORLD WAR Z actually isn't a great comparison since most critics actually ended up liking that movie. There are those that enjoy kicking a film when it's down or it's the popular thing to do (BATTLESHIP and JOHN CARTER come to mind), however it's not like those films turned out to be amazing. Sure JOHN CARTER might be underrated a bit but that doesn't make it a masterpiece.

I think all of them are a little butt hurt about THE LONE RANGER failing, but they shouldn't place that much blame on critics. It would be refreshing if at least one of them was like, "Well the production was kind of a mess, way too much money was sunk into it, and while it isn't perfect I'm still proud of my work on the film and hopefully fans respond to the movie when it gets a home release," but unfortunately it just sounds like they are angry at critics for not liking the film.

I can understand wanting to defend something you have put a lot of time and effort in to, but don't try to say the only reasons why your film collapsed in theaters was because of unfair critics and people bitching about the budget.

Extra Tidbit: How much of what THE LONE RANGER team has to say do you think is true and how much of it is just them being pissy?

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