This week, drowned in Cinco De Mayo Tequila and Boredom and sadness that I wasn’t in Disney World as planned, I made a decision. It might not have been a great decision, but that decision was to watch the Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl.
That wasn’t the mistake, that movie is great. It’s fun, and funny, and effects are cool, and the performances are great, and it has my second favorite sword fight in any movie ever.
The mistake came when after watching The Curse Of The Black Pearl, I thought, “I wonder if the sequels are as bad as I remember.”
And in truth, the first three sequels, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End and On Stranger Tides are not as bad as I remember. They’re still fun to watch. But that fifth movie, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is possibly even worse than I remembered it, when I reviewed it here.
But here are some things that came to mind, watching the series again.
- Boy, after that first movie, Will Turner sucks. Not Orlando Bloom’s performance which is always a little bit dull but fine. I mean the character as written. The creators got it in their heads that Elizabeth and Will were going to have a tragic star crossed romance no matter how much it ruined Will as a character. He backstabs everyone and everyone is still like, “Will’s the good guy!” NO! Will is not the good guy! Will sucks.
- In On Stranger Tides Ian McShane plays Black Beard and if you punctuated each of his lines with “Cocksucker,” “son of a whore,” or any of the other colorful profanity of Deadwood it would basically be the same performances Al Swearangen and I am 100% OK with it. Ian McShane chewing scenery is the best.
- People think that Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is what’s great about these movies. And it is an incredible performance, but what makes them great are the supporting cast, which is why the last two movies are not so good. Jack Davenport, Kiera Knightly, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally, Tom Hollander, Naomie Harris, Lee Artenberg and Mackenzie Crook and Jonathan Price, are what made the first three movies really really special. The sequels loses these actors and characters and are poorer for them. (Except Rush, but they kind of run Barbosa into the ground)
- I am particularly obsessed with Jack Davenport as James Norrington and I hate that Mary was right about this because he was always her favorite. I didn’t make the connection about him being great until I watched Smash where he played the awful director Derek Wells. (TEAM IVY!)
- It is incredible how Jack goes from an actual performance to straight schtick. It’s also really annoying.
- Kiera Knightly is super cool.
- Barbossa is even worse than Jack when it comes to an interesting performances becoming Schtick. It takes a little longer, Geoffrey Rush makes it through the first three movies, but by the fourth, there’s nothing left in the tank.
- I am, as it turns out, much more attached to these movies than I thought I was. I think it’s because that first trilogy came out while I was in high school and they were like Acceptable? nerd movies. I didn’t have to pretend I only liked them because of Hugh Jackman.
- In retrospect it is incredible how necessary Will and Elizabeth are to the plot and spine of the films. Part of what hurts the last two m”ovies is that you lose them and their naivete and sense of discovery about the world and none of the characters brought in to replace them quite hit the right tone.
- I still love Brenton Thwaites, even though that fifth movie sucks. He’s still Dick Grayson
- The whole Mermaid subplot in the fourth movie adds absolutely nothing
- Will Turner only came ashore 1 of the 2 chances he had to see Elizabeth, which again, links back to the title of this post he is straight TRASH and she is THE FUCKING PIRATE KING, (and it is, it is a glorious thing) and she deserves better than his ambivalent complacent ass.
- The fifth movie totally wastes Javier Bardem and that should be a goddamned crime. Nothing about his character makes any sense.
- Johnny Depp is likely a terrible person, I don’t feel like passing judgement on that here.
ANYWAY! I’m really excited that I got five posts in this week, and I’m already on my way to three for next week, so we’ll probably get five in next week too. YAY!