Johnny Depp is sailing away from the Caribbean waters and into the deadly desert of the Wild West, reteaming with original “Pirates” director Gore Verbinski for “The Lone Ranger,” based on the classic radio play.
It’s not Depp in the title role, however, but Armie Hammer of “Social Network” fame. A brand new “Lone Ranger” trailer shines the spotlight on Hammer’s hero, introducing him bloodied and battered on top of a wooden tower, built on top of a huge stone cliff. Waking up from a nightmare, the Ranger’s life takes a turn for the weird when he comes down from the structure to find a Native American warrior — Tonto, played by Depp — conversing with a white horse.
“Why are you talking to that horse?” the Ranger asks, holding Tonto at gunpoint. “Why am I covered in dirt?”
“I buried you,” Tonto replies matter-of-factly, despite his clear confusion over the Ranger’s continued survival. He explains further: “Eight men rode into canyon. I dug seven graves. Horse says you are a spirit walker, a man who has been to the other side and returned — a man who cannot be killed in battle.”
“There’s something very wrong with that horse,” Tonto adds.
The two men, initially on opposite sides of the battlefield, quickly join forces and agree to ride together. But if they’re going to partner up, the Ranger has only one mandate: “If we ride together, we ride for justice.” Luckily for the Ranger, justice is exactly what Tonto seeks, “kemosabe.”
Tonto has a suggestion of his own to make. “People think you are dead — better to stay that way,” he says, suggesting that the Ranger start wearing a mask to conceal his identity. “There comes a time where good men must wear masks.”
The trailer moves along to a series of action scenes, including Tonto and the Ranger escaping a fireball in an underground cavern, and the two of them fighting alongside a speeding train. At one point, a young boy tosses a bullet out the train’s window and the Ranger catches it, loads it into his revolver, and squeezes off a shot that causes a massive explosion.
At the trailer’s close, the train completely derails, sending Tonto and the Ranger flying. A huge piece of shrapnel lands between them, mercifully sparing their lives — but their good fortune is short-lived, as one of the derailed train cars rushes right at our heroes, leaving their fates hanging in the balance. Given that the Ranger “cannot be killed in battle,” not to mention Depp’s star power, something tells us they’ll be just fine.
“The Lone Ranger” hits theaters on July 3, 2013.
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