Quentin Tarantino Reviews ‘Lone Ranger,’ Bashes Batman (But Not Ben Affleck)

Quentin Tarantino Reviews 'Lone Ranger,' Bashes Batman (But Not Ben Affleck)

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The writer and director of “Django Unchained” explains why he thinks “The Lone Ranger” is one of the year's best and why Batman kinda sucks

Quentin Tarantino puzzled film critics across the nation when he unveiled that Disney's critically-panned box office bomb “The Lone Ranger” was one of his top 10 movies of the year, so far. But now he has offered a little bit of explanation as to why.

“The first 45 minutes are excellent,” Tarantino told French weekly Les Inrockuptibles in a print interview translated by Indiewire. “The next forty-five minutes are a little soporific. It was a bad idea to split the bad guys in two groups; it takes hours to explain and nobody cares. Then comes the train scene. Incredible! When I saw it, I kept thinking, ‘What? That's the film that everybody says is crap? Seriously?'”

Also read: ‘The Lone Ranger’ Could Force Disney to Take $190M Writedown in Q4

The Gore Verbinski-directed film, which starred Armie Hammer in the title role and Johnny Depp as his Native American sidekick, scored a 31 percent rotten rating on critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. To make matters worse for the $215 million Jerry Bruckheimer production, it only managed to rake in $89.2 million stateside before going on to make just $255.1 million worldwide.

“Lone Ranger” joined the likes of Alfonso Cuarón's “Gravity,” Noah Baumbach's delightful indie “Frances Ha” and Richard Linklater's critically-acclaimed relationship drama “Before Midnight” on Tarantino's top 10 list. Still, Tarantino had some issues with the western.

See video: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer Blame Critics for ‘Lone Ranger’ Flop

“I still have a little problem with the film. I like Tonto's backstory — the idea that his tribe got slaughtered because of him; that's a real comic-book thing. But the slaughter of the tribe, by gunfire, from the cavalry, it left a bitter taste in my mouth,” he said. “The Indians have really been victims of a genocide. So slaughtering them again in an entertaining movie, Buster Keaton style… That ruined the fun a bit for me. I simply found it…ugly.”

His issue with the film is interesting, considering Tarantino has received his fair share of criticism for featuring so much violence in his films. Just last year, his Best Picture Oscar nominee “Django Unchained” — which ended up winning Best Original Screenplay — was scrutinized by the media, as well as his peers, for its bloody depiction of slavery. Tarantino did not play the historical abuse of African Americans for laughs, however, and that seems to be his big beef “Lone Ranger.”

Also read: Johnny Depp, Don't Shoot the Messenger for ‘Lone Ranger’ Flop

“Making fun of this, when America really did it, it bothered me,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker added. “That doesn't stop it from being a good film, but they could have done without that.”

Another big budget movie that Tarantino could do without is the next “Batman” movie, in which Ben Affleck is set to play the caped crusader facing off against Superman (Henry Cavill). Nothing against Affleck, though — the “Pulp Fiction” director just doesn't think Bruce Wayne and his superhero alter ego are all that interesting.

“I have to admit that I don't really have an opinion,” he said. “Why? Because Batman is not a very interesting character. For any actor. There is simply not much to play. I think Michael Keaton did it the best, and I wish good luck to Ben Affleck. But, you know who would have made a great Batman? Alec Baldwin in the '80s.”

  • stanfordcrane

    I totally agree with QT.

  • Stuart W

    Seldom “agree” with Mr. Tarantino, but in his support “The Lone Ranger”
    substantially in-step!

  • http://oliverklossof.tumblr.com/ OliverKlossof

    I completely agree with Tarantino. Anyone who sees the Lone Ranger with an unbiased stance (remember the movie was bashed long before it came out) can see exactly what he saw. A strong start and strong finish for a movie with too many antagonists and plot lines. I disagree with his assesment of Batman as a character but I fully agree regarding with his statement about Alec Baldwin playing the Caped Crusader in the 80's.

    • Gordon Franklin Terry, Sr.

      BRUCKHEIMER cast a White Guy as an American-Indian (HOW CAN ONE BE UNBIASED?) . . . RACISM IS A SICK, DISGUSTING, ACCURSED “DISEASE” that victimizes everyone. And now TARANTINO is informing me that The Lone Ranger “makes light of GENOCIDE. ——–MY ANCESTORS WERE BOUGHT, SOLD, AND RAPED AND MURDERED by “You People” and then “You People” turn-round and SHOVE A RACIST-MOVIE WITH RACIST CASTING IN MY FACE AND EXPECT ME TO EMBRACE IT? NO FREAKING WAY! An American-Indian actor was over-looked for Depp to be handed the role. SHAME ON HOLLYWOOD!

      • Markus

        Depp isn't all white. He's mixed ancestry including black African and supposedly some Native American.

        The film does NOT make light of genocide. See it before making idiotic statements. In fact, the white man is the villain throughout.

        Depp had the power to get the film made. An unknown actor could not have.

  • Gordon Franklin Terry, Sr.

    Tarantino LOVES championing unpopular opinion and . . . but, having American-Indian ancestry there is NO WAY that I can agree with Tarantino. The respondants to this article all appear to have anglo-saxon names. Try circulating this article to “Protected-Populations” (groups protected by Civil Rights Amendments.) I Want to Hear What American-Indians have to say about The Lone Ranger.

    • Markus

      Native Americans worked on the film as consultants and tribes supported the film which takes a pro-Native American position. Look up Saginaw Grant one of the actors in the film.

  • troyce key

    about violence…the pot calling the kettle black.

  • gerold

    I thought Lone Ranger was excellent. Mostly agree with QT, but even he is afraid to get too far out of step with the critics.

    The idea that it was “ugly” to portray indian genocide within a movie that had strong comedic overtones is perhaps understandable, at least from small-minded folks, but a little surprising coming from QT.

    Lone Ranger falls within an unusual and little-known genre: tragi-comedy. It's a fine line to navigate, but LR did it very well. Tonto is a tragic character who copes with his burden of guilt and pain with irony, sarcasm, and a wicked sense of humor. That's actually a very healthy and sane approach, especially for a crazy shaman, and Depp plays it just right.

    Complaining that Depp isn't a “real indian” is pathetic. He's an actor. He was playing a role. The idea that the role could only be player by a “real indian” is just sad.

    I think people will be watching this movie in years to come with real enjoyment, and will wonder at the shallow culture of 2013 that couldn't handle it.

  • Daniel Sterling Sample

    Dear Q.T., please read my graphic novel SNAKEBIT, TEXAS before you totally commit to your current western screenplay. Just search: snakebit texas graphic novel on the web. It was written and illustrated just for you to direct and this time, the Native Americans win….;-) sample.daniel@gmail.com (R.I.P. Lawrence T., Chris P. and Sally M.)