DVD REVIEW: The Lone Ranger (12), (149 mins), new on DVD from LOVEFiLM

The Lone Ranger took one hell of a pasting when it was released on the big screen – which probably does it a favour now it is released for the small screen.

The Lone Ranger took one hell of a pasting when it was released on the big screen – which probably does it a favour now it is released for the small screen.

For most of its two and a half hours, you sit there thinking ‘Well, this really isn’t that bad!’ In fact, by the end, you might even concede that it’s actually quite good.

It certainly comes with a cracking train chase/exploding bridge finale - which is no more than you deserve after the hours that you’ve spent sitting there.

But along the way, there are plenty of other pleasures, very much in the Pirates of the Caribbean mould, just as you’d expect from pretty much the same team that delivered the Pirates franchise. The mix of adventure, romance, wit and the macabre is exactly the same; it’s just we’re in the saddle rather than on the high seas.

The whole thing comes with a slightly-weird framing device which rather lets it down. Years after the actual events, Tonto (Johnny Depp) is a museum piece in a Wild West sideshow. When a little boy looks at him with a little bit too much curiosity, Tonto launches into the account of his adventures which fills the next couple of hours.

The gist is that he teamed up with John Reid (Armie Hammer), the man who became the Lone Ranger, in what becomes a committed fight against injustice.

Lawman Reid is forced to seek out-of-court settlements when his brother is brutally murdered by Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner), a vicious outlaw who just happens also to be the source of Tonto’s woes in life.

Slowly a vast conspiracy emerges, all based around the railroad and all the riches it will bring to those unscrupulous enough to grab them.

There are certainly moments when the film sags, where the plot – in a POTC kind of way – seems just a little too labyrinthine, but it all comes together nicely in the end - and Depp’s brilliance does the rest in a film which manages to look good even when it drags.