|"How could you forget about me, mate?"|
I’m talking about something set in our world, maybe in the past, but a past where heroes still use their fists and their smart mouths to get out of trouble. The hero is usually on a quest of some kind, and there are obstacles to overcome and a girl to win over. While these movies have action, they are more about the exotic locations, overcoming the obstacles and getting away alive and with some kind of loot.
Pretty basic right? Well I actually forgot an entire trilogy of movies in my examination back in 2011. The Pirates of the Caribbean films of the 2000s would fit perfectly in that group. Curse of the Black Pearl came out in 2003 and was followed up by Dead Man's Chest in 2006 and At Worlds End in 2007. This was a big series for that decade, right up there with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. This was Disney's fantasy adventure juggernaut and audiences went in droves to the films. One of the big reasons was Johnny Depp's unique and hilarious performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. But all three movies had tons of eye candy, top notch action sequences and a score by Hans Zimmer that has pretty much redefined what swashbuckling soundtracks should sound like.
So how the hell could I forget these movies? Easy, the sequels weren't all that good.
|You don't know jack about Captain Jack (DDR style).|
Of course Disney is never one to miss a trick. So when the film's popularity blossomed they pulled in director Gore Verbinski to direct two more films, back to back to create a trilogy. This is not an uncommon practice. Back to the Future did this with some success. But so did The Matrix and most folks dismiss Reloaded and Revolutions as misguided and unnecessary.
|"See what happens when you leave me out of your|
bloody film? ARRRRRRR!"
The visuals and production design remain impeccable, but the action scenes go on way too long (something that was a bit of a problem in Curse of the Black Pearl as well). As much as the movie tries to be fun, there just is a dowerness to the whole that the Davy Jones plot line adds that makes the films move at a crawl.
|Um yeah, this is just too much - 169 minutes too much.|
Hard to say, but after seeing the borrowed scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, I'm thinking they knew what they were doing. So we had a trilogy of adventure films in the 2000s. I'm not crazy about them, and still feel that the flawed Indiana Jones films are still better then either of those painful Pirates sequels. Yeah, I would even put Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ahead of Dead Man's Chest. Sadly, Disney won't let the Pirates films die, even after mediocre reviews for On Stranger Tides back in 2011. People keep going to see these films, and I'm guessing it is all the Depp fans out there.
|I'd rather watch The Pirate Movie again, than watch those|
sequels. No seriously, I would.
The thing is, studios need to stop with the spontaneous trilogies. Buried in the scripts for Dead Man's Chest and At Worlds End is a solidly entertaining film. It would probably run around 151 minutes or so, but with the fat cut out and the adventure focused on (and with Barbossa in a more prominent role) you could have had a sequel that matched the original film. But we get this messy trilogy instead. And studios still haven't learned their lesson. The Hobbit trilogy suffered the same bloated fate. The lesson is, focus on making a single great movie, unless you have a story worth telling in trilogy form. Sadly, Pirates of the Caribbean just wasn't that story.