Saturday, June 9, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean: Logic's End

Even checking your brain at the door won't help this movie make sense.

I greatly enjoyed the first installment in the series. The sequel didn't hold up to the first; still, it was a good movie. The third is a complete joke. It's as if the screenwriters got together, with one half-wit declaring: "I have an idea! Let's make this film insane! Let's cut out the heroism, goodness, and logical progression and replace it with mind-numbing action and inexplicable behavior from the protagonists! Whaddaya say, fellas?" The others grin and nod until their heads rattle, then set about creating a movie as reasonable as shouting "Full steam ahead!" in an iceberg field.

The story offers us no heroes with whom we can relate, only a gaggle of back-stabbing idiots who all deserve to kick their last beneath a gallow's pole. I would've paid extra for that. Johnny Depp's character is demoted to the role of comic relief, hovering about the periphery and acting the fool for most of the running time. Orlando Bloom's Will Turner has the onscreen presence of a doorstop. And Keira Knightly's Elizabeth has made an incredible transformation: from frilly, feminine lady in the first film, to Amazonian she-panther in the third. With her smouldering expressions and delicate beauty, she's all woman--from the neck up. Otherwise, she's built like an undernourished ten-year-old schoolboy. I'm sorry, but I cannot take seriously a girl-child who weighs, at most, 110 pounds in lead boots thrashing the living daylights out of burly pirates who pick their teeth with dirks all day and call keel-hauling "good sport." Female buccaneers existed in the heyday of piracy, but they were far from common. The rare few who survived long enough to forge a name for themselves weren't stick-thin imps with fencing skills that would send Errol Flynn fleeing into his cups in terror. But in the PC movie realm, women can bodyslam the likes of Andre the Giant, and can out-fight, out-spit, out-chew, and out-cuss the most venomous devil in the bunch. Imagine if Stallone's movie, Over the Top, were remade, today. His nemesis would be a woman.

When the final credits rolled, I saw people quietly filing out, with looks on their faces as if to say: "What the !@#$%^&* did I just see?"

Considering the good acting and fantastic special effects, the movie has some value. I also can understand the desire to see it for the sake of completion, after having viewed the first two films. But don't expect a satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy. You won't find it on this sinking ship.

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