The Lone Ranger is back – in a ‘hateful’ movie that thrashes Christianity. Allegedly.

LAST month we reported that the new Superman movie had been created with a grisly determination effort to put Christian bums on seats – but the makers of the new Lone Ranger apparently have no such lofty ideals.

According to Jeffrey Weiss, a Dallas-based religion writer, Christians in this latest remake by the House of the Mouse are portrayed as:

Unattractive, ineffectual, hateful or flat-out hypocritically evil.

Depp and Hammer as Tonto and the Lone Ranger

Depp and Hammer as Tonto and the Lone Ranger

Reviewing the movie for the Religion News Service, Weiss writes:

Halfway through the movie … we suddenly discover that Tonto [Johnny Depp] is no-kidding crazy, left mentally unbalanced as a boy by the slaughter of his friends and family. Even the surviving members of his tribe laugh at him. Which I suppose gives us in the audience license to laugh, too. Ha ha.

Christianity doesn’t come off nearly as funny.

We first meet the man who will don the mask as he sits in a train car otherwise filled with annoyingly hymn-singing Presbyterians. Their musicians are crummy and their singing is off-key.

Asked if he wants to join their prayers, the future Ranger [Armie Hammer] brandishes a copy of John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government and explains, ‘This is my Bible’.

Attacked moments later by outlaws, the Presbyterian pastor’s attempt at a non-violent resolution is met with a bullet to the leg. Take that, blessed peacemaker.

Later in the movie, we spot the pastor again, limping and wild-haired and all but frothing at the mouth as he screams ‘Heathen!’ as the Ranger and Tonto ride by.

Weiss says that The Lone Ranger can’t decide if it’s an homage to the graphically bloody Westerns of Sam Peckinpah or the slapstick of Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.

That, points out one commenter, is because he is flat-out STOOPID, having completely missed the point that The Lone Ranger remake:

Is spoof from beginning to end. It was slapstick funny ­– modern vaudeville on the big screen – nothing more.

But another commenter wrote:

What do you expect from a movie that has Depp in it … have we all forgotten the song he wrote about a drunken Jesus Christ???

For a far less paranoid and much more intelligent review of this offering from Disney, go here, where it’s described as:

One of the most inventive and insane movies of the summer 2013 season.

While on the subject of the portrayal of Christians in the movies, we learned today that Rick Santorum, the ghastly Christian homophobe and former presidential candidate has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of a “faith-based” film company, Echolight Studios, which touts itself as:

 The first movie company to produce, finance, market and distribute faith-based, family films across all releasing platforms.

The demented Rick Santorum

The demented Rick Santorum

Said the sanctimonious Santorum:

For a long time, Christians have decided that the best way to fight the popular culture is to keep it at bay, to lock it out of their home. … That’s a losing battle.

Santorum said one problem with Christian-themed films was that they’ve traditionally been aimed at just Christian audiences, rather than attempting to appeal to audiences that don’t necessarily share the movie’s Christian message.

He blamed that limited appeal on what he said were often the “hokey” and “cheesy” feel of such films, with all the filmmakers’ attention focused on the message and not enough on artistic quality.

Quality. Quality acting, quality directing, quality scriptwriting. That is going to be a watchword for me.

He said the goal was to produce movie:

That rival any good Hollywood film.

Dallas-based EchoLight’s first, The Redemption of Henry Myers, is slated for release in the autumn. Promotional material describes it as a Western about a bank robber who finds redemption from a widow and her children who take him in after he’s wounded.