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Hollywood needs more Gore Verbinskis

Gore Verbinski’s new film The Lone Ranger is an immense failure, reviled by critics and avoided by audiences who were tipped off early about what an incoherent mess it is. And it’s an incoherent mess all right. But it’s a fantastically ambitious incoherent mess, which is typical of films directed by Verbinski. He is perhaps the most crazily exuberant filmmaker working in Hollywood’s upper echelon of reliable blockbuster-makers, and after getting away with his excesses for years and earning Walt Disney Studios billions in profits doing it, Disney has finally given him enough rope to hang himself.

For a lot of people professing to truly love film, the spectacular fiasco of a movie like The Lone Ranger becomes proof of the essential evil and idiocy of Hollywood cinema. I’ve never been able to accede to this view. Loving film plus hating the entirety of Hollywood’s output is an equation I could never work out—Hollywood has simply produced too many great films over the decades, even if it also seems to produce fewer and fewer as the years go on. Even Gore Verbinski agrees to that, and puts himself in the company of those participating in the death throes of Hollywood, laughing as he says, “We seem to be on some crazy road to extinction.”

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