Tonto (Johnny Depp) and John Reid (Armie Hammer) in "The Lone Ranger." (Disney/Bruckheimer Films)
(CBS NEWS) "The Lone Ranger" can't seem to ride away from scathing reviews from critics, with some comparing it to Will Smith's 1999 epic disaster, "Wild Wild West."
In an article titled "You Should Absolutely Not See 'The Lone Ranger,'" a couple of the writers from Deadspin foresee the remake starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp turning into a massive box office bomb.
Bloomberg also predicts that "The Lone Ranger" could become Disney's biggest financial dud since "John Carter," which tanked big time at the box office in 2012.
An adaptation of the 1930s radio serial and the 1950s TV show starring Clayton Moore, "The Lone Ranger" remake has been blasted for being excessively long (it clocks in at 149 minutes) and straying too far from its source material. Some feel the film was made by Disney simply so that it could be turned into an amusement ride at one of the studio's theme parks.
There's also been criticisms leveled at Depp, with his portrayal of sidekick Tonto seen as merely a modified Native American rendition of his Jack Sparrow persona. The film was directed by Gore Verbinski and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the same filmmakers behind the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, and many critics have now deemed "The Lone Ranger" an inferior retread of the "Caribbean" films.
This isn't the first time a "Lone Ranger" movie has failed to capture the success of the TV and radio series. Released in 1981, "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" was scoured by critics and lost millions at the box office. The film's lead star, Klinton Spilsbury, never acted professionally again. This new remake seems poised to repeat some of the lackluster results of its predecessor:
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "This attempt for another 'Pirates of the Carribean'-scaled series tries to have it too many ways tonally, resulting in a work that wobbles and thrashes all over the place."
Ty Burr, The Boston Globe: "Ugh. 'The Lone Ranger,' Gore Verbinski's bloated, $250 million western comedy is like watching an elephant tap dance in your living room: Everything gets trampled and the dancing's not very good."
Claudia Puig, USA Today: "'The Lone Ranger' is a boisterous, relentless production, long on action but short on fun."
Stephanie Zacharek, The Village Voice: "'The Lone Ranger' has it all, but what you end up with is not much. It's an extravagantly squandered opportunity."
Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times: "Hammer is charming but bland, and Depp, hidden behind a mask of makeup, mostly gives Tonto a deadpan dignity; their often rote interactions don't justify the film's two-and-a-half-hour running time."
Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York: "It's all too much and not enough -- a succession of disparate, can-you-top-this episodes inelegantly piling up like skidding cars on a freeway."
Peter Debruge, Variety: "By the film's climax...what began as an elegantly epic, potentially realistic retelling of the Lone Ranger legend has devolved into Wile E. Coyote-style cartoon shenanigans."
Alfonso Duralde, The Wrap: "'The Lone Ranger' is a drag as an action movie, it's not funny in its attempts at self-parody, and it feels like a Western made by people working off a checklist of tropes without ever really understanding the genre. Verbinski and his writers have taken a promising idea and put a silver bullet in its head."
"The Lone Ranger" opens on Wednesday.
Ken Lombardi, CBS News