' ' Cinema Romantico: Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (At Movie's End? We Can Only Hope)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 (At Movie's End? We Can Only Hope)

As I entered the theater last night the usher who tore my ticket advised me to stay until the end since "something happens". What happens? I have no idea. I didn't make until the end of the credits. I didn't make it to the beginning of the credits, either, and I didn't even make it to 30 minutes before the credits started. Yes, loyal readers, for the first time since I fell asleep for awhile at a showing of "Van Helsing", woke up, endured another 10 minutes, and decided I'd had enough crap, I walked out on a movie.

Why did this happen? The poor quality, of course, but then I see a lot of movies with poor quality. "Click" was worse than "Pirates of the Caribbean 3" but I didn't walk out on it. Then again, "Click" wasn't five and half hours long. Ha ha! That was just a little joke. "Pirates of the Caribbean 3" isn't actually that long but, my God, does it feel like it. There came a point where physically I simply could not take it anymore. It was either 1.) Get up and leave or 2.) Literally gouge out my own eyeballs. But it also probably had something with the recent run of great films I've seen. How can you go from the glory of "Once" to this? You know how when you eat really healthy for a few weeks and then you decide to have a Whopper? What happens? You vomit. Well, last night I had a cinematic vomit.

I must have dozed off during "Pirates of the Caribbean 2" and not remembered because I was behind right from the start. Apparently there was a character named Lord Beckett in the second movie and he's attempting to eliminate piracy. Do you remember this guy? And apparently Will and Elizabeth are no longer on speaking terms but I'll be damned if I can remember when or why they stopped speaking. But we don't have time to play catch-up because we've got plot to advance, damn it! There's so much plot in this movie. So, so, so much. There's more exposition here than in "The Da Vinci Code".

Maybe it wouldn't have been quite so bad if Johnny Depp's infamous Captain Jack Sparrow had turned up before hour two (rough estimation). And once he does he's relegated to being nothing more than a supporting character. Come to think of it this might be the first movie in history that features nothing but supporting characters. I suppose when you have so much plot to exposit you just don't have time for a pesky main character.

I realized what I missed the most about the first one was how people talked. They actually were allowed to talk. It wasn't just exposition disguised as dialogue. Remember in "Curse of the Black Pearl" how there is that scene near the beginning with Captain Jack and the two British soldiers? There's a little bit regarding plot - the origins of the Black Pearl and such - but the script gives all three of them a voice. Captain Jack had that fantastic line, "Apparently there's some high tone and fancy to do up the fort, eh?" It's little, a throwaway, but it's real dialogue. Actual, unique dialogue. What happened to that? They have a scene in the new one that's a callback to the scene I just mentioned but it's all wrong. There's no spark. It exists simply to get Jack Sparrow from where he is to where he needs to go.

I honestly don't think Johnny Depp's phoning it in. I just think he's become too comfortable playing the character. He's too aware he's in a movie at this point. Everyone in the movie is too aware of that fact. The only who didn't seem aware of it was, I swear, Keith Richards in his long-awaited cameo.

This movie has earned some decent reviews based on what we'll term the Rocky Balboa Theory. Everyone expected "Rocky Balboa" to be terrible just because the previous installment of the series was so terrible and when it wasn't everyone was so surprised they gave it a pass. I don't subscribe to that theory. I subscribe to another one. Namely, why the hell couldn't they have just made the first one and left it at that?


Rory Larry said...

I remembered Lord Beckett, not because he was memorable but because he is played by Tom Hollander who is actually a decent actor. He played Mr. Collins in "Pride and Prejudice" also starring Keira Knightley. I guess I am one of those who falls into liking it because it wasn't as bad as the previous film. I have no honest explanation as to why I halfway enjoyed it. Everything you say is pretty close to the truth. But still there were parts I did enjoy. Oh and Keira looked good as usual. Which doesn't hurt.

The Fab Miss B said...

I am so not seeing this movie. Why bother when there is actually interesting stuff if you look for it, and we have BLOCKBUSTER BY MAIL! (which a friend recently described to me as Netflix on crack)This weekend, I'll be watching Jesus Camp and All About Eve. Take that crappy summer sequel fest!

Wretched Genius said...

Blockbuster By Mail is to Netflix as "Pirates of The Caribbean 2 & 3" are to "Pirates of the Caribbean": roughly the same thing, but lacking the qualities that made the former good.