[ A train consisting of several cars filled with religiously devout passengers and one car filled with homicidal cannibalistic psychopath William Fichtner races through 1800’s Texas, because what could possibly go wrong? The prison car also has Johnny Depp under watch by the authorities, trying to sneak by them and fulfill his destiny by killing his nemesis (the aforementioned psychopath) using a combination of cunning and slapstick comic relief. ]
William Fichtner: So, you’re pretty much just reprising your role from Pirates of the Carribean, except reset in the Old West.
Johnny Depp: You savvy, mate… I mean… How, kemosabe.
[ Passanger Armie Hammer breaks into the prison car just as Johnny Depp is about to kill William Fichtner. ]
Armie Hammer: Stop, I say! For I am a newly deputized district attorney, and hence I command you to desist in your criminal activities. For I am noble and without guile, but also naive and comically unprepared to face off against mean people. Essentially, I’m reprising my role from Mirror Mirror.
Depp: [ Facepalm. ]
[ Just then bad guys board the train, tie up Johnny and Armie, free William, and sabotage the train so that it will crash several miles down the track after they’ve left, because that makes much more sense than killing them on the spot. ]
Depp: We’ve conveniently escaped our shackles, kemosabe. Now let us affect our escape during an extended action sequence aboard a moving vessel, only to have me caught and arrested by your Goody-Two-Shoes ass.
Hammer: Isn’t that pretty much how Pirates of the Carribean began?
Depp: Cram it, kemosabe. Gore Verbinski only knows how to direct one action movie, and that one was it.
Hammer: Does this mean that I shall find my beloved betrothed to my nemesis?
Depp: If by “betrothed” you mean “already married” and by “nemesis” you mean “brother,” then yes, kemosabe.
Hammer: Well, poop, that kind of rules out coitus with her at the end then. Will there be supernatural shenanigans involving a fleet of zombies who only show their true form under moonlight?
Depp: If by “fleet of zombies” you mean “a horse” and by “true form under moonlight” you mean “materializes anytime or anywhere the plot requires it,” then yes, kemosabe.
Hammer: This movie is going to suck.
Depp: And how, kemosabe.
[ Armie and Johnny head to Colby, Texas, where they find Armie’s ex-girlfriend Ruth Wilson married to Armie’s brother James Badge Dale, a Texas Ranger, and employed by train magnate Tom Wilkinson. ]
James Badge Dale: Well little brother, you sure managed to completely screw up my prisoner transport with your book-learnin’, no-gun-shootin’, city-livin’, yellow-bellied dumbassitude. So why don’t you come along on our unnecessarily hasty and extremely dangerous shootin’ posse to round him up.
Tom Wilkinson: Splendid. How could this possibly go wrong? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to reprise my role from The Ghost and The Darkness and have some lions kill Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas.
[ They look for William Fichtner. We see the posse ford a stream. We see the posse cross the prairie. We see the posse gallop over the desert. We see the posse pose in front of a butte. We see the posse… ]
Hammer: Holy hell, cowboy movies are boring.
[ Finally the posse comes to a mysterious and foreboding canyon. ]
Dale: Hmmm. This seems like the ideal spot for an ambush. You ready for your motivation to kill William Fichtner yet?
Hammer: Er, what?
[ The posse is ambushed by William Fichtner’s men, who shoot everyone to death. William proceeds to eat Dale’s heart, to gain his courage. His rich, tasty courage. ]
[ He leaves. Johnny Depp shows up with a white horse and nurses Armie back to health. ]
Hammer: Oh, man, I feel like I’ve been dead for three days.
Depp: Messiah complex much? Also, you have been dead for three days, but now you’re alive and the wind-talker or wind-breaker or something, I dunno. This white horse brought you back to life, kemosabe.
Hammer: Er, what?
Depp: I already told you: magical horse. Deal with it.
Hammer: So the Lone Ranger, rebooted for the 21st century, is going to involve a magical horse with the power to resurrect the dead?
Depp: Yes, kemosabe. Later, he’ll be able to fly.
Hammer: Riiiiiiiiight. Let me just put on this mask so no one associates me with this movie…
Depp: Whatever, let’s go kill William Fichtner. First, we visit hookers.
Hammer: Er, what?
[ They visit a seedy brothel, run by one-legged madam Helena Bodham Carter. ]
Depp: Did I just walk into a Tim Burton movie again?
Helena Bodham Carter: No, this is just a Disney movie. I’m a whore with a heart of gold. Also with a leg of pearl, which replaced the one that was eaten off by William Fichtner, who was into petty BDSM and extreme cannibalism. I guess that’s what happens when you forget the safe word. Later on I’ll use my fake leg to seduce a calvaryman with amputation fetish, distracting him long enough to get this movie into its final action sequence. In the meantime, you should go, because a posse of crossdressing cowpokes are threatening to rape Ruth Wilson and her son.
Hammer: Disney… seriously… what the frack?
[ They leave and fight off the ruffians, who nevertheless manage to escape with Ruth and son while trapping Armie and Johnny in a burning barn. Thankfully, they are saved when the horse flies to the roof of the barn to save them. They land and dispatch the two remaining baddies by a Rube Goldberg-esque sequence of accidents. ]
Hammer: Worst. Action movie. Ever.
Depp: And how, kemosabe.
[ They are captured by Comanches, and Armie is taken to Chief Saginaw Grant, who tells Armie that Johnny has dedicated his life to killing William Fichtner (who was responsible for killing his entire village over a silver mine when he was a kid) and, oh!, also that he’s gonna kill Armie. ]
Hammer: But why? Is it because by screwing up Johnny’s revenge the beginning of the movie, I’ve tampered with his destiny and made him more insane than before?
Saginaw Grant: No.
Hammer: Is it because by inadvertently letting Fichtner escape, he is now framing Comanches for attacks he perpetrated, leading the US Calvary to suppose you’re in open revolt and sending military troops to come and slaughter you completely?
Hammer: Is it because my brother promised to protect us from the White Man, but by inadvertently freeing Fichtner, I also got him killed, leaving you defenseless?
Hammer: Then what gives?
Grant: Dude, you’ve turned the Lone Ranger and Tonto from a series about to kickass crimefighters in the Old West into two bumbling buffoons who have a magic Jesus horse.
Hammer: Quite right. I deserve to die.
[ They bury Armie and Johnny up to their heads in sand and pour scorpions on them, before leaving. Just then Silver the magic horse shows up with a can of Raid, sprays off all the scorpions, and pulls Armie and Johnny out of the sand with his teeth. ]
Hammer: Wait? How did Silver operate a spray can? He doesn’t even have thumbs.
Depp: MAGIC… HORSE… kemosabe.
[ They go to the super-secret silver mine and use slapstick TNT gags (together with a surprising lack of concern for the lives of innocent indentured Chinese workers already in the mine) to blow up Fichtner’s posse. ]
Hammer: [ Points gun right at Fichtner’s face. ] Alright, William Fichnter. You killed Johnny’s family. You ate Helena’s leg. You ate my brother’s heart out of his chest. You kidnapped and quite possibly raped and killed by sister-in-law and nephew. You shot me and left me to die in the desert.
[ Pause. ]
Hammer: Guess I oughtter tie ya up and take you to the authorities, then.
Depp: [ Facepalm. ]
[ Armie takes William to Tom Wilkinson and Cavalryman Barry Pepper. ]
Tom Wilkinson: Thank you for capturing… my brother! Yes, I’m evil too!
Hammer: What? How could this be?
Wilkinson: You didn’t catch my villainous reference to The Ghost and The Darkness?
Hammer: Dude, that movie came out almost twenty years ago.
Wilkinson: Hmph. If you can’t be bothered to take an interest in cinema history, that’s your own look-out. Off to the firing squad for you. Apathetic bloody little ingrate, I’ve no sympathy at all.*
* Yes, this is a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference in the middle of a Ghost and the Darkness reference in the middle of a Lone Ranger script. Nerd trifecta.
[ They take Armie to be killed by firing squad, but just then the Comanches attack. They are completely slaughtered by the Calavary in a slow-motion somber fight sequence that would be far more effective at evoking our national guilt at the eradication of entire Native American populations if it wasn’t interspersed with Johnny and Armie’s slap-stick push-cart plus Indiana-Jones-rolling-fireball comic escape. ]
Depp: I overhead Tom and William are going to Promontory Point tomorrow to kill the railroad investors and monopolize the entire railroad industry.
Hammer: How the hell will be get from South Texas to North Utah by morning with only nineteenth century technology?
Depp: How many times do I have to say it, man?
[ The next day, at the joining of the Transcontinental Railroad, Tom Wilkinson reveals his plan to take over the railroad industry by killing one of the railroad magnates. Before he can finish the job, Johnny Depp steals the train will all the silver, foiling Tom’s plan to buy up the shares of the other railroad companies. ]
Tom Wilkonson: Damn. Perhaps I should have actually bought the other companies before announcing my plan to buy them out and kill all their executives. Oh well, live and learn. Evil Twin powers, ACTIVATE!
[ He and William Fichtner board the other train and pursue Johnny. Meanwhile, Armie boards Silver and pursues Tom and William. Meanwhile, Cavalryman Barry boards a Gatlin Gun, but is too distracted by Helena’s pearl leg to shoot him, the freaky perv. ]
[ The William Tell Overture begins. ]
Hammer: It’s about frickin’ time.
[ The William Tell Overture continues for the next… twenty… minutes. ]
Hammer: Oh God, kill me now.
[ Armie catches up with the second train, and challenges the baddies to a fight. They respond by throwing his sister-in-law and nephew over the side, where they land on Silver, who has managed to keep pace with the speeding train despite the insanely rugged and mountainous terrain. ]
William Fichtner: How is that even possible?
Johnny Depp [ in the distance ]: Magic! Fucking! Horse!
[ Suddenly the single track splits into two tracks which criss-cross back-and-forth and over-and-under each other more times than a DNA molecule, because ACTION MOVIE ENGINEERING. Also, the protagonists and antagonists go back and forth between the trains over and over and over again because ACTION MOVIE FINALE. Eventually they end up with Armie and William on the pursuing train and Johnny and Tom on the silver train. Armie sabotages the train and jumps off in time to watch William Fichtner die in a fiery wreck. ]
Hammer: Um… Johnny. Sorry I kind of killed off your arch nemesis, thereby completely destroying any chance you had of fulfilling your life’s destiny. My bad.
Depp: That’s okay, kemo-S-O-B. I’ll just kill this white guy instead.
[ He jumps off the CGI train as it falls off an CGI bridge and CGI explodes. It is in no way as cool as the same live-action train sequence in the finale of Back to the Future III. Also, Silver sprouts wings and carries Armie and Johnny to the coast where they defeat the Kraken. ]
Townspeople: Who was that masked man?
Hammer: [hides mask in his pocket with embarrassment] Hell if I know.