A thing that annoys me is when some movie is advertising itself as the big movie you should see this summer because it’s original and otherwise you’d have no choice but to watch a sequel in this, the “summer of sequels”. Well, guess what, you indie-pretension-wielding jerk? They’re all the summer of sequels. For good or ill, that’s the way it is now, because that’s what people want to see. And what makes it even worse is that you right there on your high and mighty holier-than-thou unique pony? You’ll have a sequel in two years, tops, if there’s money to be had by making one. So shut your piehole and either be a good movie or don’t, but don’t sound like a prat while you’re doing it. You’re not morally superior to any movie out there, and don’t forget it.
Speaking of uncharted seas full of deceit and treachery where it’s impossible to know who you can trust until you’re long since committed and even when you can they’re still more interested in your money than in anything about you as a person, I saw the third Pirates movie, At World’s End. And it was good. Obviously, there were swordfights and naval battles and combinations of the two (and in settings that were clearly designed to say “Top this, if you dare!”) But the true greatness of it was the diverse plots and betrayals. Every character worth mentioning had an agenda, and every agenda was partially compatible and partially incompatible with every other one, such that any two characters together would have common cause enough to double-cross (or triple-cross) any given third. It’s not that it wasn’t confusing, it’s that it was like a roller coaster going in seventeen directions at once. It’s far more interesting to just relax and see what happens next than to figure out what’s around any particular corner ahead of time.
My only complaint is that Johnny Depp seemed like he didn’t have much to do. The movie was obviously not about Jack Sparrow anymore, and that character needs to have center stage, or else he starts to look as ridiculous as he would if you met him walking down the street in your neighborhood. Luckily, I don’t see that being an issue again if there’s one more sequel. (There might be one more sequel. There probably won’t be more additional ones than that.)