Yep. That's a Gore Verbinski movie.

In the first weekly installation of our countdown to summer (you can see that here), I picked "The Lone Ranger" to write about because I just plain like the way Verbinski does what he does. I think sometimes it's that easy when it comes to this type of huge-canvass filmmaking. I've certainly had directors whose work did nothing for me who I've realized early on don't share any particular aesthetic common ground with me. And I've also seen plenty of filmmakers who prove early on that whatever secret version of film language they're speaking, it affects me, and I'm onboard, whatever the story or subject.

Verbinski shoots action I enjoy watching. I still think his most inspired moments came in "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," but there are things he does in the third "Pirates" and in "Rango" that are just preposterous, fun and frantic and impeccably staged. He is able to put all these things in motion and then catch them in the perfect way, and it's a gift that should not be discounted. Not everyone's capable of it, no matter what budget or support you give them.

This trailer sells the story in a way I like more than the early focus on trains reshaping the West. I've seen that movie before, and I feel like I've seen that movie a lot. What's more important is the personal character journey that it takes to create The Lone Ranger, who is a symbol meant to inspire fear in a certain type of criminal, an early spin on the superhero archetype, reclaimed here in a way that makes a case for it as a strong example of the genre.

Tonto is not Jack Sparrow. They're trying to make that clear. Tonto is hypercompetent, incredibly good at what he does, and I get the sense in this trailer that his own involvement in the life of the Lone Ranger is not purely selfless. The thing that I get from the trailer is that this looks like a particular type of fun that I like, and I think Disney's being very clear about what to expect. It's an old West Batman, with a swaggering scene-stealing sidekick and an almost pornographic love for the destruction of trains.

 

 

I'm in.

"The Lone Ranger" rides into theaters July 3, 2013.