Sunday, July 30, 2006
Dead Man's Chest Review
Three years ago, "Pirates of the Carribean" was the hit of the summer. I remember walking into my local movie theatre expecting to have all of my childhood memories of the ride imitated on the screen, nothing more. I was shocked to find that the movie wasn't just a cheap advertisement for the ride, but also stood on its own as a swash-buckling comedy classic.
"Pirates" is this generations "Raiders of the Lost Ark". If the orginal was Raiders, then "Dead Man's Chest" is the "Temple of Doom" of the franchise. Both films have moments of creative genius, but both failed at bringing a darker tone into the mix. In "Dead Man's Chest", the darker scenes not only make much of the film stumble about like a drunken sailor, but also makes the entire film feel like it's suffering from multiple personality disorder.
First, lets look at Davy Jones and his crew. While they're impressive works of CGI mastery, they just come across as lifeless pieces of computer wizardy. Davy Jones is quite an achievement, but we didn't fall in love with Gollum becasue of how much detail was put into his finger nails. Audiences loved Gollum because of the character under all the pixels and polygons, not just because he looked cool. Furthermore, Davy Jones is just downright dissapointing compared to the charismatic performance Rush gave as Captain Barbossa in "The Curse of the Black Pearl".
The writers owe me a SOUL!
Apparenlty, the writers don't understand the words tension and build up. For example, you not only see the Kraken slaughter an entire ship early on in the film, but you're also treated to another scene nearly identical to it later in the movie. YOU DON'T SHOW A CREATURES FULL POTENTIAL DURING THE FIRST HALF OF A FILM!! What made the movie "Jaws" such a success was because you didn't see the entire shark until much later in the movie (I think everyone invovled in the production should have taken notes from Lucas and Speilberg). Two words: huge dissapointment.
The Kraken is about one-tenth as creative as the above drawing.
Not only is there no tension throughout, but they also took my favorite characters in directions I felt to be degrading. I really didn't like the movies failed attempt at a love triangle (which are usually awful to begin with). The entire thing basically destroyed Keira Knightly's character, and felt completely out of place in a "Pirates" movie.
Another innocent victim of a "Love Triangle Attack". When will writers ever learn!
On the positive side, the first forty-five minutes of the movie were exactly what I wanted from a sequel to an outstanding swash-buckling comedy... more swash-buckling comedy. I felt the same way about the three way fight near the film's conclusion, exactly what I wanted from a "Pirates" movie. Of course, the ending that followed was completely forced and depressing, leaving me with that hollow feeling I get when I'm dissapointed by a movie. It happened with "King Kong", and it happened here too.
Needless to say, the sport of "Wheel Swordfighting" lasted about as long as the XFL.
In conclusion, watch the orginal instead. "Dead Man's Chest" is long, overstuffed, and dreary. If you're going to see a fantasy film this summer, see "Superman Returns". Now that's a movie!!
Posted by A Deranged Young Person at 5:01 PM