Monday, May 28, 2007

Snores and Spectacle: Pirates III at My Wits' End

(May contain spoiler material)
Last night I went to what I hoped would be the movie event of the summer: Pirates of the Caribbean III: At World's End. We went an hour early to get good seats: we were excited and ready for a fun and entertaining motion picture.

What we got was a nearly-three-hour-long napfest of explosions and confusions.

The film opens with a grisly assembly-line hanging of like a million pirates, eight at a time, including a child. Shudder. This sets off a "time of crisis" for all the pirates in the world, and they must hold a pirate council. The rest of the movie is a "build-up" to the final showdown between the pirates and the Evil British Empire (Hey! I'm British!), whose navy is led by the octopus guy Davy Jones.

I cannot even begin to explain to you how complicated they make this: William wants to save his Dad who is a monster-slave to the octopus guy, so he wants to stab the heart-in-a-box of the octopus guy, who happens to be the octopus guy just because he's not fulfilling his job as courier-of-the-dead (it's a curse from the voodoo lady who I guess fell in love with him, but she turns into these gray crabs a lot, even though she's trapped in a human body.) Elizabeth is guilty because she killed Captain Jack (who is now in a kind of desert hell with like fifty of himself), but Will thinks she loves Captain Jack, but she doesn't, but she doesn't talk to her fiance' William about it for some reason, but the pirate council wants to free the voodoo lady who is actually the goddess Calypso and when they free her she turns into a giant naked screaming monster-of-crabs, and then she unleashes her fury on all the pirates and they have this cosmic ship battle in the middle of a cosmic whirlpool but the whole time everyone is fighting over the key-to-the-box-of-the-heart-of-the-octopus-guy-but-we-don't-

Deep breath. . . .

My friend Caroline fell asleep at this movie.

Add to this magical goulash (it felt a little like the socio-politico-economic-hodgepodge in Star Wars Episode I) some just needlessly gross stuff (a guy gets frostbite and breaks off his toe, and it's actually a "comic" moment.)

There are too many characters (who is the mean cockney guy with the little gun again?), too many pirates (the Hong Kong pirates are pretty gross, I must say), TOO MUCH EXPLOSIONS. Seriously there was like a ten minute slowmotion woodchip explosion scene. I thought I was going to die.

Even Johnny Depp wasn't that funny the third time around--although he did have some good one liners, like the "Q.E.D." quote. I like his dialogue; it's snappy.

The actress that plays Elizabeth grows more anorexic every film, too: she looks more and more like a boy. It's sad because she's pretty.

Did I mention it was almost three hours long (also about fifty five previews).

Ok, now for the things I liked:

1) Keith Richards makes an appearance as Captain Jack's father: that was a nice touch.
2) Some great images of natural beauty: some island shots and ice shots that were very stunning--they made an odd juxtaposition with most of the grimy tone of the film.
3) That it ended.

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