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After an uncharacteristically swift (and passionate) response to the bad Lone Ranger reviews I posted here yesterday, I figured I’d look a little more into this masked man and his crow-accessorized companion.

Some critics are calling it genuinely subversive, misunderstood and other sorts of praises.

Luke Thompson:

“This will not likely come as a shock to anyone, but lest there was any doubt, yes, it adds fantasy elements and makes many of the major characters insane, while not being remotely accurate to real history. What may surprise you is that there is a legitimate in-story reason for this, one that also accounts for its mood-swings, tonal shifts, and occasional plot holes that the story quite deliberately calls your attention to.”

More:

The Lone Ranger’s Lonely Defenders: Critics Ride to the Maligned Blockbuster’s Rescue

With  the Tomatometer in freefall at 23% and with audiences at 68%, quite the split, we have something to think about here.

I’m inclined to listen to what Native Americans think of it before taking the word of middle aged white guys.

Native Appropriations:

“It’s 2.5 hours of a film with an identity crisis, not knowing if it’s supposed to be funny, campy, dramatic, “authentic,” or what. At points it was very hard to separate the stereotypical and hurtful from the bad script, bad editing, and bad character development of the movie itself.”

Apparently its defenders are pulling a Pee Wee Herman:

“I meant to do that!”pee-wee-herman-20090810-174119

spoilers

tonto-train-55db29fa3d93fdeb5d37264b9e3397defb22b7df-s6-c30

Native Appropriations:

“To me it reinforces the idea that all the Indians are dead, relics of the past, which is actually a theme throughout. This Indian is so silly and backward he trades a dead mouse for a bag of peanuts, doesn’t even know how to eat peanuts, and is feeding a bird, but it’s dead. ”

“I don’t really remember the rest of the scene because I was distracted by the fact that Gil Birmingham, who actually *is* Comanche was sitting there with face and body paint on and doesn’t. have. any. lines. My dad compared it to Civil War movies where they have the Black regiment march by in a scene as a “oh, see, we thought about the POC!” moment. ”

“Throughout the film, besides the tipi exchange, the only scenes we see of the Comanche are them preparing for war, leaving for war, fighting in war, or dead.”

“They slaughter an entire tribe of Natives, and there is no discussion. Just an awkward joke and a cut to the next scene. What?”

“On top of a bad movie, we have layers of stereotypes and harmful representations that are going to keep haunting us as Native peoples for years to come.”

“Now an entire new generation is going to play the Lone Ranger and Tonto at recess, thinking Indians talk in incomplete and inconsistent pidgin English, think all Indians are dead, and that it’s ok to dress as an “Indian” for Halloween. While this might be a flash-in-the-pan film, it solidifies the continuing views of Native peoples as lesser, as relics of the past, as disappearing, as roadblocks to “progress.” “

But wait, there’s more:

Why Tonto Matters

ps


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