Log in

No account? Create an account
16 July 2006 @ 06:21 pm
Saw Pirates on Friday. Liked it. I think you're more likely to enjoy it if you know going in that it's part one of a two-parter, and aren't expecting any sort of closure to any of the plot strands. The action sequences were so cleverly staged that it's easy to overlook how they frequently accomplish little in the way of plot. The waterwheel-et-cetera scene was particularly inventive. It was like a cross between Looney Tunes and a Jackie Chan fight scene (I'm thinking the three-way Jackie/Sammo/Yuen Biao fight from Dragons Forever crossed with the prop-laden stunts of the Armor of God movies), plus the interlocking screwball chases of a French bedroom farce. Wild stuff. And the look of Davey Jones (Pirate Cthulhu!) and his fishman crew (Deep Ones! Well, kinda) was awesome. Stellan Skårsgard's barnacle-encrusted face, and especially the crewmember embedded in the wall, were rather creepy.

Captain Jack is still a glorious cowardly dick.

I do understand where most of the criticism is coming from, though. It's absolutely not self-contained. There are a ton of plot strands dangling all over the place. And Marc Singer's (no, not that Marc Singer) criticism of the treatment of nonwhite characters is hard to dodge.

I don't agree with the people who say that Commodore Norrington's behavior was strange, though: they establish that his life had been ruined because he did the right thing at the end of the first movie, and he was understandably bitter.

I did think that the ending (such as it was) dragged a bit. It was the only point of the movie where I was actually thinking "Come on, get on with it" (the rest of the time, the frantic action covered up the fact that the story had stalled out). It felt like, after the last battle, they should have wrapped it up pretty quickly to set up the next movie, and rolled credits. On the other hand, the final twist is an Oh Shit moment.

Stay through the credits. It's worth it.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Ameliapadparadscha on July 17th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
Okay, the cannibals were Looney Tunes-esque (and we're talking ye olde Looney Tunes, with their equally startling stereotypes), but I will note one thing about them that I thought was interesting: Gibbs (who knows everything) explains their reason for being cannibals, which has to do with religious beliefs. Tribes that practiced cannibalism generally had very strict social codes for how it worked, and in their own culture's context it made sense. I was happy that they at least had some (thin) explanation for the crazy behavior of these people, instead of just having them be a bunch of morons who eat civilized people because they think it's funny. I was also rather sorry that even the lawless pirates weren't very racially diverse.

I agree, the story IS hollow, and is NOT self-contained. But then, I never expected it to be. After watching the first one (which is also not self-contained; if you don't know how they develop the story in the second, then the first thing seems RIDDLED with plot holes. And it still is, though not as many), I expected something phenomenally stupid. It's just that, because for this movie I am willing to be shallow, it DIDN'T MATTER to me.

I really, REALLY liked Norrington's character development. I think he was best served by the continuing story, and while I love Jack I'm forced to admit that Norrington probably has a more interesting character. Jack is interesting because of his environment (okay, and because he's damn funny), but I'd be more inclined to hear Norrington's inner monologue. I'm curious to see where he goes in the next one. (How many people d'you think are going to start insisting that he's really a GOOD guy, that he's got a Clever Plan and that Dumbledore put him up to it anyway?)

And the Oh Shit moment was, I have to admit, a helluva thrill.
Forsyth: GG IDforsythferret on July 17th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
The thing that bugged me the most about it was how everybody who wasn't a named character kept dying. There were literally no new characters on the pirate crew, and that was sad. Especially since a couple of the characters that got killed were cool. If they'd done the "Look, everyone but the named characters dies" thing once, as a joke of the "Yes, this always happens" kind, I'd have laughed, but it kept happening and wasn't making fun of the cliche, it was the cliche.
larksilverlarksilver on July 18th, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)
But.. but.. do action bits actually serve the plot?

I thought attending an action-heavy flick was sort of like watching a musical: the characters occasionally go stage-front and burst into song (or a fight sequence) and everybody goes back to what they were doing like nothing happened. Okay, maybe not in all action flicks.. but certainly in funny, farsical ones, it's been known to happen.