Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Few Thoughts on the Third Pirates Movie

Well, I got talked into seeing the third “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie and, like the previous two, didn’t care for it all. I feel bad about it because so many people love these movies, but I’ve only gotten minimal enjoyment from them. In its defense, I will say it’s better than the second, but that’s like being the taller of two midgets. In the long run, it doesn’t mean anything.

I truly enjoyed Johnny Depp’s performance in the first one. In fact, it was the only aspect of the film I enjoyed. His entrance onto the dock as his ship is sinking is one of the great movie entrances of all time. But the rest of the movie struck me as charmless and witless, with too many endless fights scenes repeated ad nauseum.

In Depp’s first turn as Captain Jack, there was a real joy of performance from him, but in the sequels, the inspiration seems to have vanished, and he’s just going through the motions.

The story the trilogy relates is slight, to say the least, and does not justify almost nine hours of storytelling. I really don’t care for any of these characters, or their mission, or their outcome.

The second one I found interminable and one of the murkiest, darkest looking pictures I’ve ever seen. (Is it asking too much for a movie that has the word “Caribbean” in the title to have some beautiful outdoor scenery, blue skies and sandy beaches? I guess it is.)

I was thrilled to read that Chow Yun-Fat has been contracted for the third one. I like him a lot, and as anyone who has seen “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” or “Anna and the King” the guy is loaded with charisma and screen presence. Here he is sadly relegated to a few scenes and in those scenes he’s not given much to do. What a wasted opportunity!

Don’t get me started on the Keith Richards cameo. Talk about much ado about nothing. I thought we’d see two mincing pirates acting up together. Instead there’s lot of glowering. It’s as if the fact they got him into a pirate costume was enough. Another missed opportunity.

I can only imagine the grueling production schedules of these two sequels shot back to back. So there’s no time to re-write, no time to give special scenes to your actors, no memorable dialogue. No little bits of business that can make a movie memorable.

I noticed in the end credits that composer Hans Zimmer had seven additional co-composers. He probably needed the help due to a rushed post-production schedule. But all of the music is bland in the traditional Zimmer style. Oh, its loud enough, and noisy, but that’s not enough, is it? The notes are there, but the music is missing.

1 comment:

Dees Stribling said...

The marketing machine for this movie is, as you must know, a monster in its own right. Lilly tells me she wants to see it. I may take her, but I'm not thrilled at the prospect. I liked the first one, of course, but that was the first one -- when have third sequels ever been any good?