Monday, July 17, 2006

Pirates of the Caribean II: Ludicrous, Absurd, Fun

First of all, I think it's a Good Sign for the financial success of a movie if a theatre (at a multiplex where it is showing on 3+ screens) is full for an 8:30 showing on the Sunday night two weeks after the film's release. I haven't been tracking, but they are assuredly making a bundle.

And they largely deserve it - the film is pure live-action cartoon. An especially over the top cartoon at that. Depp has added a pinch of Arthur to his dragqueen/Keith Richards stew, and Jack Davenport seems to enjoy not having to play the square this time around. Orlando Bloom doesn't have much to do except swing a sword and remind my sister that he played Legolas (which seems to be plenty for exactly half of the audience. I hear he's very short in real life...)

This genre of half-camp action flicks demands memorable villains, and replacing Geoffrey Rush's 'Captain Barbosa' was going to be a challenge. Davey Jones, and his ship "The Flying Dutchman" and his, er, pet achieve this, and perhaps more.

Beyond the special effects and performances, the movie is just fun. You half expect the audience, call-and-response style, to answer every piratical "arrrrr" with a massed "ayyyyy." Or that could be why my neigbors looked at me funny on the way out...

Pooh's View: Superb popcorn fare. Bergman or Scoresese it's not, but it has much more modest aspirations, easily achieved.

(As a postscript, nothing gets one in the mood for a good "event movie" better than some kickass previews...sweet jeebus (Michael Bay! Gilbert Gottfried as StarScream?!?) did they get it right here, though I liked this one better the first time.)


Icepick said...

Sweet jeebus is right. I can't believe how excited I am for a Transformers movie. I was wondering why not just get the guy who did the original Starscream, but it turns out he's dead.

I think I'm excited by this because this mythology just isn't that set in stone. They can't fuck it up too badly, canon-wise. (Which of course doesn't mean taht they can't fuck it up. After all, it is Michael Bay.) Still, I hope it's good enough and does well enough for a sequel. I want Junkions!

Fletch said...

Right on about Pirates II being entertaining fluff, but I'm not sure that I will be heading to see #III in July '08.

As for the previews, Michael Bay=Go Wes! The Guardian does indeed=TG. Right down to poor Goose. But it looks as though you missed this nice little gift.