Director Gore Verbinski introduces us to the world of The Lone Ranger with the voice of a character we never see, an unspecified villain played by Tom Wilkinson.
“From the time of Alexander the Great, no man could travel faster than the horse that carried him,” Wilkinson purrs amid scenes of the transcontinental railroad coming together in the 1860s. “Not anymore,” he adds.
Yo, a villain is gonna school you on history, bro! Are you gonna take that?
Verbinski sets the stage with a very “Dawn of Man” juxtaposition of images. We see the vast, seemingly uninhabited territory of the desert in Monument Valley …
Then we see a steam locomotive surging ahead, penetrating this pristine wilderness.
And, again — Excuse me, Dr. Freud, I think you dropped your cigar.
“Imagine time and space under the mastery of man …” Wilkinson says, and we get a close-up of a broken pocket watch.
The times they are a-changing, you see. And not necessarily for the better.
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