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Overlong, dumb, dull action/adventure for the cognitively challenged.
In theory, Pirates Of The Caribbean really could have been a good film. What with Johnny Depp playing the campest pirate ever and a young couple at the centre of it who just want to get together were it for those damn undead pirates and the woman's fiancée. Such inspired ideas however admirable can not salvage this film. Under the hand of director Gore Verbinski, Pirates Of The Caribbean dispenses with character development, comic timing and structure in favour of constant frantic movement and an eagerness make sure that something is exploding, somebody is falling down a trap or Johnny Depp is eliciting a wisecrack every two seconds. Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom are hopelessly bland when they should be appealing while the visuals suggest a much cheaper film than its $115 million budget would have you believe. Some critics have noted that Pirates would have benefit from a 45 minute truncation of its running but even in its first quarter of an hour, I found myself getting bored. The script is also weak, with Saturday morning cartoon show level humour and not one inspired moment. The only notable thing about this film is the clever CGI used on the undead pirates and the lenience (and some might say praise) with which critics have graced it.
Do yourself a favour and see Disney's Peter Pan instead, it's a funnier, more technically groundbreaking, more artistically credible and infinitely more entertaining pirate film than this two and a half hour bore. It'll probably keep your kids more entertained too, not to mention it being more suitable for them.
The biggest artistic low point for everyone involved
I watched this film as a child and could always remember how utterly bewildered I was by it especially in contrast to the impressive (if Disneyfied) adaptation of Peter Pan. It was darker and stranger and made little sense to me, I guess I just thought I was missing something.
12 years on and I still don't understand this simply because there is nothing to understand about it. It is a hideously self-indulgent mess of a film. Incoherently structured, one-dimensionally and superficially characterised, implausible (even in the considerably less demanding realms of the the fantasy genre, incomprehensible and ugly.
But what really got me about this film is that I have never seen such a large collection of talent so utterly wasted. Everyone of them should be ashamed for being involved in the conception of this cinematic atrocity. What was the point of this film? The importance of an innocent imagination. All of that was put on screen before and in a much much better way in the Neverending Story, a warm, imaginative, humorous and engrossing children's fantasy. It's everything that Hook wasn't.