Argh! “Pirates” blows like a whale hole

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/07/IMG_4816-thumb.JPGI’m a sucker for opening nights of movies, even for films I don’t anticipate being very good. “Pirates of the Carribean 2: Dead Mans Chest” was no exception, and the title of this post sums up my review.

However, the crowd at the Vista Theatre made it all worthwhile. To be expected, many had arrived in costume as pirates and wenches – its nice to see a corset outside of Sin-A-Matic. And as the lights dimmed and previews appeared, the audience would give a righteous “argh!” in approval (or disapproval, often hard to decipher the meaning of the “arghs”).

As promised (and mentioned previously by Tony Pierce) the manager of the Vista shed his cape and spandex from the Superman run, and tore tickets in his pirate garb.

Some more pics, and more of my review, after the jump.

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/07/IMG_4805-thumb.JPGMy problems with Pirates 2 mirrored my same complaints for the original, which basically is that the movie is a great swashbuckling fantasy up until we’re introduced to supernatural elements. “Dead Man’s Chest” first 45 minutes is high spirited adventure reminiscent of the best Spielberg action sequences. What boggles me is why the folks at Disney ever needed to add ghosts and creatures to a world that is creepy enough – pirates are terrifying as hell. What makes this sequal worse than the original is a cast of pirate villains that seemed more like out of work extras from the Star Wars Cantina (I certainly saw Hammerhead, and I’m pretty sure Greedo was there too).

http://blogging.la/archives/images/2006/07/IMG_4818-thumb.JPGWorst of all is that Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Jack Sparrow is already worn and boring. In the original film his character works largely because he’s appears to haphazardly survive every moment and become a drunken hero because everyone underestimates him. In Part 2, he has the respect of his shipmates as well as that of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner and Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann, removing the heart of the comedic tension that once gave Jack Sparrow charm.

What is appreciated is that director Gore Verbiniski left the film darker in tone than most Disney adaptations in both situations and characters – most specifically is a moment where Jack Sparrow shoots a caged monkey at point blank range to demonstrate that said monkey is undead.

Maybe I’d be more forgiving if the film was shorter so I could better focus on what I did like – as one reviewer put it, “Does a Pirates sequel really need to be five minutes longer than GoodFellas?”

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