Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Actually not so bad: Pirates of the Caribbean 4

I liked the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Maybe I watched the second one a bit too many times. I didn't even like it that much, I just happened to watch it an awful lot in cinemas, by chance! The third one was okay.

But when I heard there was going to be another one I really didn't like the idea. Why another one? What's there left to tell? Anything new about Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom? I thought I had definitely seen enough of their roles and their story was tied up neatly, so why have another movie? I largely ignored its whole production until the first trailer surfaced.

Then, I don't know why, but I did feel intrigued by it. Especially since they didn't continue a storyline that they had just neatly tied up into a bow just for the sake of having a sequel. They made up a new story (which, granted, was already hinted at at the end of the last movie). So in the end I went into the cinema with an open mind and thought I might actually enjoy it.

It is an enjoyable little movie, closer to the first one in its sense of a shortish adventure. I'm not sure you could describe it entirely as "carefree" and "light" but it surely weighed lighter than that whole selling your soul to Davey Jones or becoming Captain of the Flying Dutchman and thus being doomed to step onto land only once every 10 years. Dead Man's Chest and especially At World's End had very grave themes, resolutions that were extremely final and consequences that were extremely dire for some of the main characters.

On Strager Tides, even though it has its very serious moments as well, doesn't feel nearly as grave as its two predecessors and instead feels a bit more like the first movie again. One adventure at whose end none of our beloved main characters is really doomed. I think that was the movie's strong point.

Now when it comes to the weak points... I thought some elements were a bit badly worked out. What about this whole zombie issue? I guess they were voodoo cultish zombies but the movie could have made a bit more out of that. That love story with the missionary and the mermaid wasn't very inspiring. But the fact that they had mermaids were cool. I've never seen mermaids like those before and I thought they pulled off that idea well.

So finally, when I saw the credits roll and stayed until the very end so I could catch the little clip that always comes after the credits for these movies, I found myself hoping that they'd make another one. Which is really strange as I was against having a fourth one in the first place. I think Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa and Mr. Gibbs have started to become characters that seem like old friends to the audience. Usually you have these kinds of parasocial relationships to characters mainly when it comes to TV series. But since Pirates of the Caribbean have gone on for more than a trilogy now there's a different kind of fondness you develope concerning their stories.

I hope they do make another one. It is great to have a nice pirate story once in a while and that universe seem so rich, they could think up a lot more nice stuff. On Stranger Tides won me over, maybe because I didn't expect too much in the first place and also didn't follow the production and the critical reaction closely. Sometimes this may be the best way to approach movies.

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