Friday, May 20, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: Fun with absolutely no substance

For some reason, Superhero movie seem to have gotten into a rut where the first ones pretty good, the second is great and the third is a jumbled embarrassment. (X-Men, Spiderman etc.) If only Pirates of the Caribbean could have had the problem. Instead it suffers from Matrix fatigue where the first is awesome and the next two devolve into silly confusion. The last two Pirate movies were atrocious so I wasn’t exactly looking forward to a 4th dose.

Fortunately, it’s amazing what a simplified plot can do. It can re-introduce something into the series that was missing from the last two films…that is Fun! Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a good movie by any means, in fact it’s even sillier than its predecessors. It’s almost completely devoid of thrills. The scariest part is when Jack jumps off a cliff (oh, and psycho mermaids). It’s plot is dumber than dumb “A bunch of people are trying to get to the Fountain of Youth including Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) Captain Barbossa (Geoffry Rush), Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Angelica-Blackbeard’s Daughter (Penelope Cruz) and a bunch of Spaniards”. There, sorry If I ruined the movie for you.

Out of the inept action sequences, silly dialog and ridiculous sincerity, comes a watchable and fun film. Granted it makes Thor look like a Terrance Malick movie, but the silliness is all a part of what we signed up for right? We want to see things blow up; pirates make for the high seas, Cannon battles (oh crud, none of those) and mystical legends. It’s exactly what we get. Credit Depp and Cruz for literally carrying the whole movie on innuendoes, and a romance between a mermaid and a clergyman to bring out the emotion.

While it was fun to watch I left feeling unfulfilled. It wasn’t until I had a discussion with a coworker that I realized why. We movie watchers like to see some progression in the characters we have invested in. Weather its changing to a new man, overcoming insurmountable odds or declining into monstrosity…its what fuels our investment. Unfortunately, all the characters remain relatively the same, never reaching beyond their idiosyncrasies. Which makes for great comfort food, but not much in the way of exciting variety that wets out palettes for more. Too bad, the ending sets us up for more weather we like it or not.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother
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