Monday, July 10, 2006

Disappointing Pirates

I vividly remember the first fun scene of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Jack Sparrow was striking a hero pose, as his ship was quickly sinking. He ends up sinking the ship next to the dock and walks on land unscathed. It's a moment of pure fun and joy. The rest of the movie fit that mold entirely. It felt like the filmmakers were just trying to have some silly fun.

The sequel starts off ominously, with a heartbeat on a cold, stormy night. The bright blue seas of the Caribbean that dominated the first one are barely visible. Instead, Pirates is packed full of lengthy exposition, ridiculous action scenes and comic relief that feels so forced it's embarassing. In the first movie there was a cool sword fight between Jack and Will on top of rafters. They swung from ropes and fought hard in a cool and organic way. In this movie there's a bloated fight scene between three people in which they fight on top of an enormous water wheel. The wheel spins and eventually comes off it's mooring and goes out of control. I get what they were going for with the over the top action, but in this case it just comes off as too ridiculous. In the first movie there is clever and funny dialogue. In the second one, Elizabeth throws a stupid fit because Jack and Will are fighting again. She stomps, kicks sand around and acts irritated. My thought is that someone was accidentally filming Keira Knightley during this scene and it got edited in. It sucks all the energy out of the swordfight while simultaneously being annoying and not funny.

I was really looking forward to the fact that they were filming two Pirates movies back to back. But when you film two movies at once, there is no opportunity to analyze the preceding movie and figure out what flaws it had. So now I'm not so sure Pirates 3 will even be worth seeing.

Of course, the movie might be worth seeing merely based on ILM's unbelievable CGI work. It is by far the best CGI characters that have ever been created.

No comments: