Johnny Depp has been nominated at the Academy Awards three times but never won. He certainly isn’t going to reap another Oscar bid for his role as Tonto in “The Lone Ranger” but could well contend for the first time at the Razzie Awards.
The movie opened Wednesday to some of the harshest notices of the year, scoring a jaw-dropping 11 among the top critics at Rotten Tomatoes and 37 at Metacritic. Many critics made note of Depp playing the part of a Native-American and questioned the correctness of such casting in 2013.
For Ty Burr (Boston Globe), “this may be the moment where the culture turns on him. The actor has always made a point of admiring Marlon Brando, and with ‘The Lone Ranger’ he seems to be moving into the late-Brando phase of his career: lazy cash-grab performances that coast on the fumes of our affection.”
Mick Lasalle (San Francisco Chronicle) noted, “he mugs and pushes, and sometimes can’t borrow a laugh – even at a preview with a hyped-up audience – but what is Depp supposed to do? Lie there and give up? Actually, what he’s supposed to do is say no to movies like this, but once the mistake has been made, he has only one play, which is to plunge ahead and chase away the looming possibility that he’s stuck in the biggest stinker of 2013.”
And Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune) wondered, “Is Depp’s minimalist mugging as Tonto fresh enough to warrant good word-of-mouth? Every time the film nods in the direction of the Lone Ranger of old, either the radio version or the television series, it’s essentially to dump on it; when we finally hear the ‘Hi-yo, Silver! Away!’ line from Hammer, it’s simply to set up a witless put down from Tonto.”
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