It has an interesting frame - a kid at a fair goes to a Wild West tent show and stops at the Indian diorama. The ancient Indian is no dummy, it is old man Tonto, who tells the kid the legend and how it came to be. In short, Depp and Hammer are both chasing Big Bad William Fichtner. When he ambushes and kills all the Texas Rangers following him, Tonto witnesses a white spirit horse revive Reid - although Tonto would have chosen someone smarter.
So now Reid is officially dead, and the Lone Ranger comes to life - the movie takes a while to get here, but it isn't really that slow. Throughout, we get two things:
- Cool action sequences - fights on train top, fights on horseback on train top, gunfights, chain fights, etc. Since action scenes is a known science for director Gore Verbinsky and crew, these are a blast.
- Tonto acting mysterious, Native-y and/or crazy, making trades with the dead and feeding the dead crow in his head-dress. This is handled surprisingly well, in my opinion. His spirituality is both deep, real, fake and crazy. - SPOILER - His tribe considers him to be insane.
Somehow, I wonder if this movie isn't what Verbinsky and Depp wanted Rango to be. It had the same love for and subversion of the Western myth. But in Lone Ranger, they got to film in the real Monument Valley.
In conclusion, no one asks who that masked man is.