Tonto Flop, Kemosabe

Dr. A and I celebrated Murica’s birthday by seeing The Lone Rangeron Independence Day. I have a weakness for westerns and was curious to see Johnny Depp pretending to be a pretend Indian. My expectations were low but I quite liked it, especially because of the dead crow on Depp’s head…

The movie has already been declared a flop after less than a week in theatres. I thought it was a decent popcorn movie, but the whole thing is out of balance: it’s Tonto’s tale. I barely remember the Lone Ranger other than the fact that the guy who plays him has a silly first name. Who the hell names a kid Armie? And why doesn’t it end with a y?

I remain gobsmacked that they even tried to revive this idea to begin with and compounded this unforced error by casting a white boy as Tonto. Heap big mistake, Kemosabe. Do I believe that someone in Johnny Depp’s family told him he was part Cherokee? Sure, why not? But lots of families stretch the truth to make their lineage sound grander or more interesting. I wish someone had committed an act of journalism and done some genealogical research to see if the Deppmeister’s story is true. Hell, we know that Obama and Cheney are distant relatives even if the former Veep doesn’t look like a Kenyan Mau-Mau Marxist.

In the end, the whole Depp as Tonto controversy doesn’t matter. There’s not going to be a sequel. Tonto flop, Kemosabe.

7 thoughts on “Tonto Flop, Kemosabe

  1. Show business sucks. They needed a blockbuster actor known for pulling off weird characters. After he got cast, a member of the Commanche tribe adopted him as an honorary son, so at least one tribe didn’t protest the casting.
    I also wonder how many Native American actors would be willing to walk around with a crow on their head…

  2. I used to invest in Occidental Petroleum back in the 70s, so I remember thinking that Armand Hammer had to be an assumed name, but I was wrong. Hammer was in favor of the new pipeline the Soviets were building, but Jimmy Carter put the kibosh in it with his the Russians are evil shtick.

  3. There actually is a person with the real name “Armand Hammer”? Holy baking soda, Batman!
    In my experience, every second person in the US claims to have some Native ancestry; I think it’s a way for people to feel less guilty about their ancestors’ actual relations with Natives.
    Oddly enough, you don’t run into that so much here in Soviet Canuckistan, but there are about five times as many Native people here as there are there. Walking around my hometown, I see more First Nations people in a day than black people, and per capita, that’s about what I would expect… You’d almost think I live in a foreign country or something!

  4. Armand Hammer is an AWESOME name. It sounds like a superhero, or a prosecutor in a Batman comic.
    And for serious, were there no Native American actors available to play Tonto? None? I get Johnny Depp is fun and you want him in your movie regardless, but really, we’re still here in this place? Come on.

  5. I don’t think I’ll see it, because they couldn’t be bothered to find a native American actor. I always loved the name Armand Hammer…used to think he was the baking soda man.

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