Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Script

Went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie with Lisa tonight. I liked the first one a great deal, and it's one of Lisa's favorites of all time. Unfortunately, neither can be said for the new film. The script is utterly nonsensical and illogical. Whereas the first movie was pretty tight, building the verisimilitude so that undead pirate skeletons were a natural outgrowth of the world, this one just throws a whole bunch of weird shit up on the screen and hopes people are dazzled enough not to notice there's no rhyme or reason. There's maybe 45 minutes of plot in the movie, the rest being padded out by big, noisy action sequences that never frellin' end. Captain Jack Sparrow utterly stole the first movie, coming off as addled and out of it, yet still playing all the angles. In this one he's an outright coward in over his head without a clue. Did I mention that everything that actually worked in the movie was overdone until it didn't work anymore? By the third time the kraken appeared, I was thinking, "Oh, jeeze, no the giant squid again!" And I'm someone who's gonzo for giant squids.

For the love of Pete, I can't figure out why this train wreck of a film is blowing past Superman Returns at the box office. I've seen online where folks are calling this one the Matrix Reloaded of the Pirates movies. While I see that relationship, I don't think it's a good assessment of the film itself. Dead Man's Chest is actually Cutthroat Island with sea monsters. Yeah, it sucked that bad.

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  1. I actually like Cutthroat Island. In fact, I own a DVD of it, and I've seen it more than once. But that's not what I started out to say. I started out to say that William Goldman is right about Hollywood: Nobody knows anything. They have no clue as to why the first Pirates was a success, but the think it was the special effects. Not the script. Nobody ever considers that a good story might be successful. So in the sequel, the special effects dominate, and the story's forgotten. How many times has that happened? I shudder to think.

  2. After we saw the movie, I summed up my review with two thoughts -- too long, and not as good as the first one.

    And yet we plan to see the third one when it comes out. Odd, isn't it?

  3. Bill, I really, REALLY thought I'd like Cutthroat Island when it first came out. My brother loves it. But I still think that movie failed in pretty much everything it set out to do. Tried, but failed. Dead Man's Chest is pretty much the same story. But if you liked Gina Davis in Cutthroat Island, you're gonna LOVE Kiera Knightly in DMC. Her sudden swordplay skills don't make a lick of sense, but she's loads of fun to watch.

    Michael, I know what you mean. Lisa and I expect to see Caribbean 3 as well. I don't expect it could be any more of a trainwreck than 2, but then again, that's what everyone said about Matrix Revolutions.