James Badge Dale plays the hero in The Lone Ranger. He’s Dan Reid, a Texas Ranger with scruffy facial hair and pained sky-blue eyes. He’s soft-spoken but quick with a one-liner, half jocky frat-boy and half wounded warrior. He makes fun of his little brother but clearly loves his little brother, and when he sets off on his third or fourth dangerous mission of the day, he says goodbye to his wife and child with a mixture of apology (because he’s a man who can’t help how much he likes his dangerous job) and tremendous care (because he’s a man who loves his family and knows that every time he sees them could be the last time). He’s a little bit John Wayne and a little bit Han Solo, a hero who’s also clearly a scoundrel, a fraternity president who’s also a noble lawman. He’s dead by around the half-hour mark.
There’s no place for obvious heroes in contemporary Hollywood blockbusters, is what Lone Ranger tries to say over and over again; Dan Reid needs to die so his nerdy younger brother can become him. (The fact that his nerdy younger brother is played by genetic superhuman Armie Hammer is one of several thousand indications that The Lone Ranger is too stupid for its ambitions.)
READ FULL STORY