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Armie Hammer stars as the Lone Ranger, but it’s Johnny Depp’s wilfully eccentric comic turn as his sidekick, Tonto, who sets the tone of this sprawling action comedy.

Reuniting with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, Depp is at his quirkiest as the kooky Comanche and his double act with Hammer’s upright lawman works like a dream.

The film is overlong, over-indulgent and uneven, but it’s also stuffed full of deadpan comedy, breakneck thrills and breathtaking visual spectacle.

And when we hear the rousing strains of the William Tell Overture – the theme to the original Lone Ranger radio and TV series – spurring the heroes to another impossible feat of derring-do, it’s hard not to be swept up in the excitement.