Layo (layo) wrote,

Spoilers: Outlander, The Lone Ranger

I heard the new-ish Lone Ranger movie was bad, but I thought how bad could it be?

Johnny Depp cannot do comedy. Most of the humor didn't work, and in the context of massacring the Comanche that took up part of the movie the attempt seemed disrespectful. Part of his schtick was feeding the dead crow on his head; another was getting little boys to throw him food. Terrible. I don't know what kind of charisma you'd have to have to make these scenes work, but he doesn't have it. The bits with the horse were okay. Depp also sucked in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and possibly needs to retire. The scenes with a Jewish kid talking to the elderly version of him in an Old West exhibit was creepy and repellent for sort of the reason people don't like clowns and mimes I guess, but also the kid had huge, glassy, doll-like eyes; it was an icky two-fer.

The movie had three little boys the same age in it (who never interacted with each other, as they were all in different time periods), and no little girls. It also had a female lead that looked like a duck. And groups of old ladies wandering around singing hymns. And several jokey rape references. It pandered to foot fetishes and amputee fetishes. And cross-dressing in hokey bonnets. And whatever scarf-sniffing counts as. And, as everything seems to these days, cannibalism, which ties right back to the amputee fetish (can I just say ew?) PG-13, folks.

The actor who played the Lone Ranger worked well as a lawyer; not so much as Wild West stunt rider, and he had little chemistry with Depp. He was like The Green Hornet but not lovable, and when he refused to use a gun while the bodies of his allies were piling up all around him, you just wanted to smack him. So then you're left to consider the huge array of bad guys. I wasn't even sure what I was supposed to be hoping would happen regarding that. To defeat the megalomaniac (who was trying to sex up the widowed duck lady), the emotionally stunted duo crashed multiple trains, robbed a bank, and blew up a bridge - when all they had to do was SHOOT the motherfucker. Same deal with the Wendigo. I don't see how you can have a movie that violent where the hero actually attacks his friend to stop him from shooting the guy who, get this, cut out and ate his brother's heart in front of him. WTF? Even Gandhi would have iced that cunt.

That said, the landscapes were gorgeous and were incredibly well-shot. I was okay with the improbable stunts on train at the end; nicely-paced feats of off-hand badassery. They should have cut 1930 and the duck lady subplot out of it, and made Depp less of a buffoon. In fact re-do the casting of all the heroes, and maybe it'd suck less.

I was also going to rant about Outlander, but what's the point. Basically all the costume dramas I like to watch now feature torture porn because nerds suddenly got obsessed with BDSM. Same deal plotwise with being too merciful to kill the serial rapist. I don't know who the hell these people are, but I'm not into it. It's like they don't even want to win. Actually, the series was interesting because the female lead slowly corrupted this younger, stout-hearted and somewhat simplistically traditional Scottish guy into being a treacherous, emotionally broken puppet who, instead of killing the guy who raped him (he submitted to save her, and then she refused to let him take his revenge), ended up killing one of his most valuable allies (because of her). I've never seen a series where a Leo type gets slowly digested by a Scorpio type until he wishes he was dead, but I guess now I have. And that's interesting. I mean it's disgusting, but I have to admit that it probably counts as art.

On the other hand, the male character is a blank canvas for various unrelated female fantasies to get painted onto, and is therefore almost incoherently strung together. First he's a muscular young simpleminded warrior who mucks out horse stalls and get picked on by the older men, who spanks her because he's basically too dumb not to.

Then he's a Scottish Laird, with his own castle and subjects, who's a master of finance and dispute resolution.

Then he's a devious French courtier and chess master (where the brains and style suddenly came from, we may never know).

Then he's a general and master of military strategy!


AND the lead character refused to stop treating patients with contagious diseases while she was pregnant, because she thought her immunization shots made her immune system bulletproof against bugs from 200 years before she was born. That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. And check out the leisurely stroll though Paris at night that gets her innocent friend violated. She was like a bad decision fiesta and rapist magnet. None of the consequences broke her resolve to constantly be obnoxious, though.

And that's the thing about the writing. The writer makes the characters do whatever will set up the next fantasy that the author wants to have them play out, whether their motivations make any sense or not. In that way it's like a really high-production-value, exquisitely-costumed romance novel. Oh, here comes the next fight caused by both characters being jerks, which we have to watch because nothing more interesting is going on yet! Still bored? Here's a bunch of soldiers suddenly abducting someone! Now more bitching. Now more bodice-ripping. Now another pregnancy. Now someone coughing up a lung. Now some gash being sewn closed. Now someone getting whipped.

Now we're all on horses and getting rained on again. Ooh, a dungeon! Now the hunk has his shirt off, hubba, which is fucking ruined when his hand gets mangled. Plaid and swords are everywhere. I will say this: the actor playing Jamie is astonishingly hot, even more so with his hair its natural color.

As an actress it would be weird to spend so much time grappling with a guy that cute.

The best thing in the first two seasons was the magical chamber of the King of France.

That was so cool that I wanted to stop following the time traveling chick and hang out watching the King for the rest of the season. But alas, the love triangle must go on.
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