shallowness: Five panels featuring pictures of different female characters based on my interests at the time. (Default)
[personal profile] shallowness
As I said I would... It’s been over five years since the last film in the franchise, and nobody was clamouring for another sequel as far as I know. I read that the new directors were claiming this would go back to the franchise’s roots, i.e. the first good one, but I’ve heard that before. I knew that Bloom was returning in a cameo, and Will and Elizabeth’s son would play a big part, but that wasn’t necessarily a bonus. But Rush was back as Hector Barbossa, so I rewatched all four previous movies.
And this was fine, some parts were more than fine, but of course it didn’t match Curse of the Black Pearl. I appreciate that it tried to honour it, even if the problem for the franchise is that there are diminishing returns with variations on dead seamen and magical doo-dads (especially when you dropped your zombie sharks as a teaser scene that I saw a few weeks ago). This instalment’s baddie is Mr Penelope Cruz, uh, Javier Bardem’s Salazar. (No mention of Isabella, making her having the voodoo doll of Jack remain a loose strand.)

There are the big, cartoony theme-park referencing stunts, but it’s not a film for impressionable kids seeing as it starts with young Henry, Will and Elizabeth’s son, trying to kill himself to be with/rescue his father. I’d wondered how they’d handle the fact that the At World’s End that was released wasn’t the one that was written with regard to Will’s duties as captain of the Flying Dutchman. In fairness, they stick to what was shown (although let’s handwave Will’s face and say he looked different on the ship to what he did when he’d come to shore at the end of AWE) and make amends for it. I was afraid it was all going to be about Henry-Will, but Elizabeth does get mentioned (if not as Pirate King).

AND THEN SHE TURNS UP! OH YES. I didn’t know that Knightley was turning up and YAY! (But it’s a damning that nothing has the emotional impact of the big Will/Elizabeth hug). The film proper ends with Jack and crew – I couldn’t be bothered to wait for the post-credit scene, as I’ll buy this on DVD – but I don’t think anyone is that enthused about their further adventures.

It’s got other familiar elements you’d expect from the franchise. The magical doo-hickey is Poseidon’s Trident, which can break all the curses at sea. Henry wants it for his father, it might stop Salazar, who is after Jack Sparrow, and Carina Smyth wants it for Reasons to do with her mysterious father. So, yes, there’s a Girl to go along with the Boy who is arguably prettier than her (but Scodelaro doesn’t have Thwaites’ problem of his pronunciation of ‘father’ giving away that he’s an Aussie. And I’m not opposed to this film having been shot in Oz if it means Bruce Spence and David Wenham turn up, and with the casting of Adam Brown and Carina trying to pull a mini Eowyn, there’s plenty for the LOTR fan to enjoy). They have a more important role than Philip/Syrena in OST, but are no Elizabeth/Will.

Carina is the clever one, stridently so, but you’d be too if you were either dubbed a witch or a whore (stupid pirates) for it. I did work out who her mysterious father was, because Galileo was about the other choice. So, Barbossa is interrupted from being a sybarite and, unlike Jack, a successful pirate by Salazar, is warned by a real witch and gets derailed from his self-serving deals by his own daughter. Rush sells it, of course, and the character gets a self-sacrificial death after becoming my favourite part of the franchise. He out-laughs Jack at one point.

Yes, Jack. At the start of the film, he’s drunk and dogged by worse luck than usual, having botched another job, failed to retrieve the Black Pearl and lost his crew (a mix of familiar figures and new) before selling The Compass for rum, which is meant to be his nadir and very bad mo-jo, but he kept giving it away during the trilogy and that’s not the only thing that made me go ‘huh?’… No wonder Henry is quickly disappointed in the reality of the pirate he’s built up in his mind as being able to help him help his father. Anyway, I snickered at him (although not so much when he was exchanging pleasantries with a cameoing Paul McCartney. In a film that felt a little too long, they could have cut that). But we got to see ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’s origin, which meant a digitally recreated young Johnny Depp to enjoy. So there are beautiful and cool bits to enjoy, some stuff in the dark and variations on the previous films.

(I'm hoping to see Wonder Woman within the next 24 hours.)


shallowness: Five panels featuring pictures of different female characters based on my interests at the time. (Default)

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