Disney's The Lone Ranger will be in theaters tomorrow, and while screenings for the press have been happening for a couple of days, reviews are embargoed until later in the day. Still, as early as yesterday they started to leak out and this morning we're getting some fairly credible outlets starting to drop their official word on the film--and it doesn't look good.
"There's a limit, it turns out, to how much Johnny Depp and a bucket of makeup can accomplish," writes Yahoo! Movies. That story has been picked up by NPR and reprinted widely online already.
"The results are both joyless and seemingly endless, as its two-and-a-half-hour running time stretches out like a desert horizon barren of shade or water," says The Wrap.
We've been reminded recently, by way of Man of Steel, that the opinions of the critics are pretty meaningless to box office success and that moviegoers often feel different--but The Lone Ranger is a bit of a different story. The film was already considered a risky proposition going in, and the budget ballooned from $215 million (about what it cost to make Man of Steel or World War Z) to $250 million as the film faced production problems and was briefly shut down.
And while the film's massive "want to see" rating from audiences is 97%--on par with the 98% that Pacific Rim has or the 99% that Man of Steel did--but that's not necessarily indicative of the temperature in the air. For months now, the perception has been that this movie was going to flop...and not just among the self-appointed experts. Audiences and bloggers have been discussing the prospect of Johnny Depp having two high-profile bombs in two years (the first being Tim Burton's Dark Shadows reboot) for a while now.
And while it's easy enough to say that reviews don't matter and audiences will make up their mind in due time, let's remember this:
Green Lantern has a 26% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So far, The Lone Ranger has a 13%.