Jul 10, 2006


Despite what this past week's posts would imply, I did not have high expectations of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. But I figured it would be silly, and fun, and have the same characters.

In reality, it had none of those things. Wait, that's not quite true. Will Turner was the same.

I figured that Jerry Bruckheimer and Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott made this sequel because they realized the first one was a success. Apparently, I was mistaken. They decided to do away with everything that made Curse of the Black Pearl fun and escapist, and instead make Elizabeth a manipulative cheating whiner, and make Jack Sparrow a pirate but NOT a good man.

Allow me to take you through the film. I require studio stills, because otherwise I would not be able to recall anything that happened.

This is the beginning of the film. At first, I thought it was supposed to be a dream sequence, but no. That's really Elizabeth sitting in the rain, looking like Miss Havisham (just the first in a long line of huh? moments).

Next, the sadly underused Tom Hollander shows up and arrests Elizabeth and Will for assisting Jack Sparrow's escape years ago--and Elizabeth acts all pissed that he's ruined her wedding day, ignoring the fact that she'd just been weeping like it was her funeral.

In exchange for their freedom, Will's goes off to get that neato compass of Jack's.

Meanwhile, we learn that Jack has sold his soul or something like that (it's never made clear) to Davy Jones--who, it turns out, is Bill Nighy with an octopus head--and it's time to pay his debt. So Jack runs for the shore, and now we have

And, speaking as an islander, a really racist part of the movie. (It's also a part of the movie that is an absolutely pointless departure from the "plot".) Jack Sparrow somehow is named chief/god of a large group of cannibalistic villagers, and they're going to eat him to free him from his earthliness. He runs around being crazy as does everyone else, and for a glorious half-hour we have some of the silliness and hilarity we paid for.

And then. . .I get completely confused and bored. Jack betrays Will into paying his debt to Davy Jones for him (what you say? Yep. Unlike the first movie, where it always seemed like Jack was going to betray everyone but then it turned out he had some master plan all along that would actually get him what he wanted without sacrificing anyone else, in this film there was no master plan. I kept waiting for it, but no. Jack was just a plain old bad guy). Will sneaks around trying to save his Dad (who hooked up with Davy Jones because he was bored with sitting around the bottom of the ocean), and Elizabeth, supposedly in pursuit of Will, flirts with Jack Sparrow constantly. There are a lot of random explosions and confused mutterings in the audience.

There are interminable and pointless fight scenes that are meant to be funny but are really just annoying (like much of the film).

And then Elizabeth kisses Sparrow in front of Will and tricks him into stopping being such a selfish bastard (who is responsible for the deaths of about a hundred people by now), and he dies and I'm really not very sad, and it's all very angsty and stressful and not fun, and then inexplicably Barbossa shows up and offers to lead them beyond the grave to go rescue Jack Sparrow, who hasn't really done anything worth rescuing in the last two and a half hours. And that's it.

I am pleased to say that Keira Knightley looked healthy, despite being rotten of soul, and I did enjoy Davy Jones' creepy crew. But that was about all I enjoyed. Jack Sparrow, along with having lost any moral sense whatsoever, also lost his humor. He just wasn't funny. Every joke in the first movie was repeated--people would accidentally break sconces off walls, etc.--and of course they were never, ever funny the second time around. I hated the Elizabeth-Will-Jack love triangle they were forcing on us, I hated that Jack Sparrow's character was changed, I hated that they took the traditional Hollywood "Bigger is Better" slogan and ripped all through one of my favorite movies.

Watch the preview. It has all the good parts.

In better news, I think I just passed Adam Brody on the street.

Don't Be That Way, Bing Crosby

Elizabeth Swann: There will come a moment when you have the chance to do the right thing.
Jack Sparrow: I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.
(I liked that one in the trailer, until it turned out that was an annoying flirting moment!!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Elizabeth! (Psst, hide the rum!)

How could you not like this movie? They're pirates, for goodness sake.