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?’”
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.
“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.”
“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.”