The credits have an eerie, Six Feet Under feeling about them. Okay, if the Six Feet Under credits had a too-cool-for-school, trip-hop backbeat and some ill-placed time-lapsed photography, then they'd look just like the opening for this WB "Original" Movie, The Lone Ranger. How something that's completely based on something else can be "original" is beyond me -- shouldn't it be "This WB Movie Of The Week That Tries To Resurrect A Concept From Television's Golden Years"? I mean, hell, did Woodstock really work when they pulled it from the '60s and dropped it into the '90s? No, I didn't think so.
Right. So Chad Michael Murray is pretty, and his character's name is Luke. For a second, I thought he might be remaking The Dukes of Hazzard, but I'm not that lucky. Wardrobe has Luke wearing a suit jacket of blue plaid and a vest of brown plaid. I guess fashion wasn't the highest priority in the Wild West. Did I mention how pretty Chad Michael Murray is? He's got that scruffy-hair pouty-lips look enshrined by the powers that be over at the WB. His baby blues are shut, and he's sleeping on a stagecoach bound for Dallas, Texas. His head rolls from side to side as the coach jostles over the grassland. Luke's dreaming of a white horse, bucking in the sunlight, obviously foreshadowing what's going to happen over the next couple of hours. Luke wakes up, rubs his eyes, and sticks his head out the window of the coach. His hair blows in the wind. The music in the background is surprisingly modern for a MOW set before Texas even had a railroad. I guess the leap of faith assumes that electric guitars existed in this version of the Wild West. The stagecoach pulls into town, and the driver calls out: "Here we are, folks: Dallas Texas!" Luke jumps off the coach, looking mightily spry for probably having spent the better part of a week bouncing around. He smiles as he takes a good look at his surroundings. Dallas -- you're a cookie-cutter Western town. Saloons. Hotels with open balconies so that women can stand in period-appropriate dresses on them. Bustling industry. The driver hands Luke his leather satchel. See, there are lots of bags on top of this stagecoach, but the only person to actually get off was Luke. Sigh. He walks along the street, smiling in wonder at everyone and everything. Who knew the Wild West was so different? Yawn. He walks by men building a post office, and then passes a moving demonstration advertising the coming of the railroad. Outdoor vendors are everywhere. Kids are eating candy. Goodness, this isn't a town -- it's a utopia.
He stops to ponder the smithies in the blacksmith shop for a moment, and then notices a damsel in distress being hounded by some hoodlums. Cowboy Hoodlum #1 throws the young woman against the wall and says, "That's what you get, you little Apache bitch." He grabs her and then tosses her to Cowboy Hoodlum #2, who holds on to her tightly. Cowboy Hoodlum #1 cries, "You come into town and call me trash?" Pause. "All I asked was your name, now, darling!" Cowboy Hoodlum #3 watches as this lovely gentleman says, "Now you're going to give me a lot more than that." Well, it's always nice to start off a MOW with an attempted rape. Brings the whole picture up to a certain level, you know? So, of course, Luke races back into the alley to begin his tenure as a hero. In the meantime, the young woman has kicked a couple of hoodlums in the groin and generally managed to kick and scream and fight and kick and scream some more. Luke says, "Leave the lady alone." Cowboy Hoodlum #1 tells Luke to mind his own damn business: "Lady?" Pause. "She ain't a lady. She's a squaw." Luke tries to get lippy: "That's some pretty good Apache. But you need to learn 'I'm sorry ma'am, but we've got no class --'" One of the Hoodlums punches Luke in the gut. He topples like a house of cards. I guess he's got some learning to do before he truly embarks on his hero quest. After getting kicked a couple more times, Luke crawls along in the dust, pulls a book out of his satchel, and tries to outsmart these brain surgeons. So, yeah, he tells them all that the book he's waving around like a sack of magical beans is a "Connecticut special," and that if he has to open his "concealed weapon," they're sure to receive an education.