Cool movie. I wasn’t expecting that. Most pirate movies blow (Slate ran a neat piece on that phenomenon last week). And how does a movie based on a fucking animatronic Disney ride have any right to not suck?
But it didn’t suck, mostly because of the performances. Geoffrey Rush, that scene chewing over-actor, is perfectly cast as a scene chewing, over-acting pirate captain. Johnny Depp is great as the world’s gayest pirate. Damn, he is such a queen as Captain Swishy. I mean, Captain Sparrow (at one point he cuts the corset off a woman who can’t breathe, then explains that he learned to do that in Singapore. Singapore? The place that caned a kid for graffiti?). Orlando Bloom is good if a bit bland, and not nearly as luminous as he is in the LotR movies.
But, you’re asking, how’d they do on the most important casting decision of all? And why haven’t you mentioned the babe yet, Matt? You usually get to that in the first paragraph, if not in the first sentence. Well, they did a damn good job. I don’t know her name, nor do I need to, since I think this is again one of those roles that make the actress look so good that every movie hereafter will be a disappointment. But she was gorgeous, just amazing. Long neck, perfect skin, ridiculous lips, and those big, dark, wide eyes that just make you forget every other woman. Well, that’s what they do to me, anyway, I’ve got a thing for eyes.
Plot? Predictable. Dialogue? Occasionally funny. Action scenes? Fucking awesome. I totally agree with Lileks on this one. The lack of wire-fu or obvious, show-offy CGI crap was refreshing. And I just love the phrase, “they stand there and hack at each other with pointed sticks, the way God and Douglas Fairbanks wanted them to.” Brilliant.
I highly recommend this movie. Probably my favorite of the summer action blockbusters, just barely nudging out X2 because of Depp’s flamboyant performance. As a service to my readers, the next movie I’ll be seeing will be The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, so you don’t have to!