Friday, May 25, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

I like Pirates. I think they're cool. So cool, I helped put together an entire comic book series devoted to kids thinking they're pirates.

But these Pirates of the Caribbean movies are giving real (or pretend kid) pirates a bad rap.

I'm not even sure where to begin in tearing this film a new asshole. And before we get too deep into this, you might be interested to read my thoughts about this films predecessor, here. So, now that that is out of the way, we may as well start with this: This film was way too long, the story made no sense, the twists were predictable and boring, Keith Richards was wasted and all of the actors (Geoffrey Rush particularly) felt like they were phoning performances in out of contractual obligation and paychecks.

Aside from all the preposterous bullshit in this picture (there's a quote for a poster, "Preposterous Bullshit" --Bryan Young, This Divided State) there are a few major, major complaints I have. Firstly, the only thing I liked about the second Pirates picture was Davy Jones. Bill Nighy was amazing and the animation was stunning. But in this film they neutered him and relegated him to the status of a side-character. This was a bad and stupid move.

Next was the fact that the screenwriting was down right sloppy. This felt like such a rushed rough draft (they didn't even make it to calling it a first draft) that they had left in characters and subplots that they needed to remove. (Like Calypso? Norrington? The Stupid Zombie Pirate dudes? The Monkey? The Pirate King crap?) This film, like both it's predecessors, needed to be tight 90 minute affairs. Instead, we're assaulted with three hours of shrill, shrieking fraud.

I can enjoy swashbuckling action. I can, I really can. But this was bloated drivel.

And it felt so copied. Take Keira Knightly's impassioned (well, as impassioned as she can get under Verbinski's direction) speech for war for instance. It was like a mix between Aragorn's rise to battle speech at the end of Return of the King and William Wallace's "freedom" speech in Braveheart. Only it was performed with less than an eighth of the conviction of either of those two performances. And they took beats out of Star Wars but didn't know how to use them properly. Like, the first hour of the film is a dragged out boring version of the first fifteen minutes of Return of the Jedi. If you're copying the first fifteen minutes of Jedi, how can you screw it up? You drag it out over an hour and instead of the heroes "rescuing" their fallen comrade, they merely pick him up as though all he needed was a ride and a stiff drink.

God. There isn't enough time to describe everything wrong with this movie. The more I think about it, the more time I realize I'm wasting on something that is less than worthless. (Hey, there's another good poster quote for this film: "...Less than worhtless...")

And this piece of crap is going to make so much money. Have IQ's dropped that sharply? Remember when people used to be able to differentiate the wheat from the chaff? This film succeeding would be like Superman IV or Batman and Robin making a trillion dollars at the box office. People used to know when they were being fed crap. Why don't they know anymore?

Long story short: If you have half a brain, this movie will be terrible to you. If you haven't already slapped the cash down at the box-office and surrendered three hours of your life to it, don't. You'd be better off doing pretty much anything else. And that includes spooning feces into your mouth with a rusty old spoon.

Before I go I want to leave you with a video of some real pirates:

1 comment:

Daveland said...

Bryan: I actually attended the premiere of POTC 3 and I have to say it was refreshing to read your review. Both 2 & 3 needed severe editing jobs. I felt that in 3 a number of sequences could have been eliminated (especially all the multiple-jack ones). However, I was actually surprised that Keith Richards was as good as he was. I expected much worse—you could actually understand what he was saying!