Saturday, June 2, 2007

Shark Bait

Right off the bat, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End clocks in at 168 minutes. That just ain’t right. It’s a popcorn movie, pure and simple, not Bertolucci’s 1900 or some Fassbinder production. Crafted with meticulous production values, goosed along by crafty special effects, filled to the brim with Brit actors spitting out scenery (and Keith Richards too) it’s still a muddled spangle of costume jewelry, with enough whirl-a-gig plot riggings to make a drunken sailor (or pirate) straighten-out. Little Johnny Depp’s still hilarious Captain Jack Sparrow only seems to make occasional appearances like an amusement park ride highlight. Pirates 2 suffered from much of the same problems (and it was far too long at 150 minutes, Pirates 1 was 143 minutes), but Pirates 3 seems bloated and mechanical, however well-oiled. By the time this glossy bit of Hollywood tomfoolery wound itself down I felt like I sailed at least a few of the seven seas—dazed, glazed, and not so amazed.

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