Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Prior to viewing this movie I heard critiques that the plots were confusing and hard to follow. I disagree. I found the plots fairly easy to follow. The only problem was...I just did not care. This franchise made a great departure from the "feel" of the first movie.

In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) there was a real sense of fun. When Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) sails into harbor on a sinking ship it started the laughter and when he flips the coin to pay for "parking" it was a moment worthy of hilarity seldom seen in a theatre. This sense of fun continued as famous scenes from the ride it was based on were worked into the movie, sometimes as an integral part (the dog carrying the cell keys) and other times just flashing past in the background (the buxom wench fleeing her lustful pursuer.)

That started to fall by the wayside in Pirates of the Caribbean; The Legend of Jack Sparrow (2006). There were moments in Legend that hearkened back to the first movie, but overall it was darker and "more mature". By the time we arrive at the World's End the fun has also largely ended in favor of the darker, more mature elements. Gone are the inspired moments of Jack hilarity, replaced by bizarre psychotic scenes involving rocks becoming crabs and "sailing" his ship over the desert for no apparent reason.

Even worse, the likability of virtually every character has disappeared almost completely. The villains no longer have charm, the heroes...well, are there any heroes?

The logic falls by the wayside also as, when she appears, Calypso (Naomie Harris) forgets all her threats and becomes an impotent side plot. Numerous story threads do this. One wonders if perhaps some phenomenal scene that draws together (and, frankly, rescues) these various threads and provides some semblance of resolution for them is laying on the cutting room floor, awaiting release as an extra when the DVD comes forth or if they simply never bothered to reread their script.

Motivations come and go. Plans become ever more grandiose. Elliott & Rosso tried to provide a complicated, intricate tale but instead provided a visual feast that carried no emotional attachment.

Amazingly, by the time I got to a theatre to see World's End my expectations were pretty low...yet it failed to meet even them. I found myself bored by it and that is a sad thing.

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