The Lone Ranger rides onto screens today as Disney’s latest feature film and just in time for the long Fourth of July weekend ahead. Lots of families I know are rounding up their kiddos and heading to see this western throwback comedy starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer. The movie itself is entertaining, very funny and action packed. Both Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer did a superb job with their roles…and believe me, I had some serious doubts. Not only did the leading men win me over, they made me fans of their interpretations of the classic Lone Ranger and Tonto characters. As a fan of the original “chapter” series that my grandparents introduced me to years ago, I found myself not only loving it but wanting more. I almost wanted to hear the announcer say, “Tune in next week kids!” It was a wonderful film to a classic series that breathed it’s own life into the story.
But before running to your local theater with your brood, here are a few things I want you to know before taking all the kiddos.
The Lone Ranger Opens July 3rd 1 of 7
The Lone Ranger opens in theaters everywhere today. Wondering if you should take your kids? Click through for 5 things you may want to think about first.
A Kid and A Gun 2 of 7
While this is period appropriate, it shows a boy, about 8 yrs old, not only knowing how to hold a gun and but also about to shoot a gun at somebody and the mom threatens that he has a "twitchy finger". I've never been a fan of any child holding a gun at all, but each parent is different. It could make for a good discussion point about guns and children with your kids, or just make them beg you for a BB gun. (you'll shoot your eye out!)
"Injuns" vs. "The White Man" 3 of 7
There is a lot of mentions of "stupid white man" or "dumb Injun" and of course, "Savage." In case you have forgotten your US History, we weren't exactly pleasant to Native Americans back then. Greed and power were our big motivators back in the day. There is a lot of violence, not just toward each other, but in general, and plenty of use of certain racial epithets. While the use of both the violence and verbage are in tune and appropriate for the time period, best to be prepared to have a discussion with your kids about it and maybe introduce a bit of history too.
The Professionals 4 of 7
There is a brief scene were the duo is at a brothel. While there is no nudity, it is highly suggestive and there is a moment where a patron gets too handsy with an employee, then the madam scares everybody straight with a loud and interesting "gun".
This Guy! 5 of 7
Yea.. um, he eats the heart of a dead man. Let me say that again.
HE EATS THE HEART OF A DEAD MAN.
Just cuts open and digs right in. He scares me and I'm in my 30's, I think my kid would have nightmares.
Action Packed? Yes! Kinda scary? Sometimes 6 of 7
The Lone Ranger is an action filled, western movie. Just like the best westerns, there is tons of action involving horses, trains, guns, explosives and then some. The action sequences are one of the best parts of the movie, however, it may be hard to digest for some children. I'd exercise some caution if your kids scare easily by violence or loud noises.
To see or not to see… 7 of 7
The Lone Ranger is a wonderful movie and it is rated PG-13. I would definitely think twice before I took a child under 13 to see it, but it depends on the child and the parent. It is definitely entertaining, fun but could also spark some great conversation about history, race and just the overall treatment of people as the US has evolved.
...or you know, you can just debate which is better, Johnny Depp's Tonto or his Jack Sparrow? Tough decisions.
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