Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” is meant to continue in the 50-year-history of “revisionist Westerns,” meaning “this time white dudes are the villains.” The title character is played as an oafish sidekick by the bland actor Armie Hammer, while the actual star is Johnny Depp as Tonto. Tonto informs us solemnly, “Indians are like coyotes. They kill and leave nothing to waste. What does the white man kill for?”
Simple. As Woody Allen once said, we kill for food. And not only that, frequently there must be a beverage.
But the tired idea that Indians were ecologists, right down to their allegedly noble killing habits, is itself an early-’70s myth that doesn’t stand up to historical scrutiny, so this would-be daring film gets stuck in PC quicksand.
In fact, the Indians used any wasteful methods they could to kill buffalo (including driving them off cliffs or setting fire to the land on all four sides), then left most of the meat to rot in the sun.
The villains of “The Lone Ranger”? Greedy capitalists. Like the ones at Disney who charge 3-year-olds $89 for a day’s admission to the Magic Kingdom.