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Superheroes and the Lone Ranger

Helm Lardar


I like superheroes in fiction. That might not seem controversial, but for some reason plenty of superhero films are derided, apparently for containing them. Problem with those films is that quite often they don't call the leads superheroes, even when they are. The audience is expected to infer it.



That means half the time the audience doesn't. Then they start complaining about how the story doesn't make sense, or how it's too cheesy, or how important things aren't explained, or how a particular character is absurd, etc etc. Some of these criticisms turn out to be legitimate, but some don't.


Let's name four superheroes. Sherlock Holmes. Spiderman. The Lone Ranger. Tonto.


Only one of these are announced: Spiderman, who decides the best way to use his powers is to make a special suit and gadgets, and fight crime as a masked man with a fancy name. But they've all got superpowers in their latest iterations: Sherlock can make inhuman deductions and clues visibly manifest themselves as text to his eyes, Spiderman has outrageous reflexes, superb strength, and the knowledge to make previously unheard of spider-related kit, the Lone Ranger is immortal (in battle) and can't miss, and Tonto is a skinwalker who can communicate with animals and otherwise find protection.


Now they're all fun to watch, as long as you recognise that they're in a trope. They're not meant to be taken seriously. But many people somehow think they are, and expect something of them that they can't deliver. Stories like that of The Lone Ranger, in the latest film of that name, should be taken as enjoyable stories, but not held to the standards of something intended to be analysed as a rational tale.


Which is why I was shocked (shocked!) to see The Lone Ranger lambasted so. It's a fun superhero film. If we can enjoy Spiderman or Sherlock, why can't we enjoy this?


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I disagree, neither the Lone Ranger or Tonto is a superhero. Sherlock Holmes is definitely not. They just are very good at what they do, not superhuman. The things they do should be in the realm of possibilities/physics-legal. I haven't seen any of those movies so I can't comment.

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I am referring specifically to the latest iterations, ie the TV show 'Sherlock' and the 2013 film 'The Lone Ranger'.

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