Johnny Depp’s ‘Lone Ranger’ a Waste of Precious Downtime?


Therefore watch carefully how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore don’t be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. —Ephesians 5:15-17, KJV

There are many verses in the Bible that warn against wasting time. Many of these talk of being lazy or not working hard. This verse from Ephesians is one of the broadest looks at wasting time and simply tells you to “[make]the best use of the time” (ESV). That covers everything you do. Sometimes, as Christians, it is best to just avoid something altogether because there are many things that would be a better use of your time. The Lone Ranger easily falls into that category.

The Lone Ranger is Disney’s latest attempt at a summer blockbuster. The studio figured they could put together most of the Pirates of the Caribbean crew and recapture some of that magic. The problem with putting your faith in magic is that it always seems to run out. Disney is currently fresh out.

The story follows a Native American guide named Tonto who teams up with the newly undead attorney John Reid. After the white spirit horse chose Reid as the one to be raised from the dead, Reid took on a masked persona and was simply known as the Lone Ranger. The first order of business for the odd duo is to track down the outlaws who killed Reid in the first place. After they get the whole revenge thing handled, perhaps then this second chance hero could use his gift to help those who need helping.

Many superheroes and comic book characters start their careers seeking revenge. Writers figure that all the good the hero will eventually do will justify his actions and give meaning to that initial sinful motive. Revenge is a sinful human desire and it is reasonable to think that human heroes would struggle with that urge. But there are heroes out there who forgave those who wronged them and still use their gifts to help others. It would be nice to see more of them on the big screen.

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh. Leviticus 19:18, KJV

The fact that the Lone Ranger seeks revenge is not the only reason Christians should not waste time with this film. Hollywood once again uses the movie industry to poke a little fun at Christians. Stereotypes have formed and many films show Christians as dumb, overzealous, mindless drones who do nothing but sing and quote Scripture until the smarter non-Christian character tells his joke. Now, The Lone Ranger is not an egregious offender when it comes to this stereotyping, but there are a few scenes in which this occurs. 

Still, the revenge plot and the Christian stereotyping are not the only, or the biggest, reasons to not waste time with this film. The number one reason you should heed the warning from Ephesians and find something else to occupy your time is the simple fact that The Lone Ranger is a really bad film. It is way too long. It uses the majority of the time setting up characters and backgrounds for future films, a common tactic nowadays as studios are thinking about making a series with every new summer blockbuster. The story is superficial at best, and the acting is poor. Johnny Depp is OK, but it feels like he simply changed from a pirate hat to a dead crow hat and kept the Jack Sparrow character intact. And the film is way too long. Yes, that needed more emphasis.

Life is short. There is much work to be done. Time to relax is an important part of life, but there is precious little time to do it. Use this precious downtime wisely. Go see films that will either strengthen your walk with Jesus or at least provide some entertainment and escape from reality. Do not waste your time with The Lone Ranger. It will do neither.

This film is rated PG-13 with some intense action, violence and suggestive dialogue.