18 November 2004 | michaeljmoore
Lone Ranger Rides Again! Sort Of!
This was the second serial for the Lone Ranger (Part of a 2 picture deal that was made with Republic Studios). Lee Powell, who donned the mask for the first serial, was replaced by Livingston. For some reason the Rangers first name was changed, while the last name remained King. The cliffhangers are pretty run of the mill. The story itself was nothing more than a typical western oater of the period. The only real twist in the storyline is that the Lone Ranger is framed by an imposter. He must then go undercover (meaning without his mask) and find the real culprits who have been committing crimes against the homesteaders.
Livingston does an adequate job as King, and once the mask is on just about anyone would have done a good job as the Ranger (especially since the Rangers voice was dubbed in by another actor). Chief Thundercloud returns as Tonto to round out the duo. directors Whitney and English, the dynamic duo of serials, seemed to be going through the motions on this one. While there are plenty of chases and fistfights The Lone Ranger Rides Again suffers from poor writing, and bad plotting. Does this mean you shouldn't see it? No.
Any Lone Ranger completeist, or serial buff will enjoy LRRA because it is a lot of fun, especially for a western. Most video versions out there don't have the chapter recap, or endings tacked on. If you look hard there are some collectors who have done there own beginnings and recaps of the previous chapters. Like the first Lone Ranger serial this one was unearthed in Mexico, and suffers from Spanish subtitles. However, the picture quality is better than the first, and the soundtrack is still in place. This serial is worth the time if you can watch on its own terms.