The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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POTC: AWE provides the thrilling action scenes, but mixes in too many characters with too many incomprehensible plot threads.
POTC: AWE provides the thrilling action scenes, but mixes in too many characters with too many incomprehensible plot threads.
All Critics (221)
| Top Critics (46)
| Fresh (97)
| Rotten (124)
| DVD (22)
Buoyed by luck, comedy and state-of-the-art special effects, it has not only survived the journey intact, it's also washed down its decks, ready for a whole new cycle of movies to begin.
Advice to Johnny Depp fans: enjoy a seafood dinner, skip the beginning, and roll up after half an hour. You won't have missed a thing.
The entire franchise seems on the verge of collapse, propelled to construct ever more grandiose flights of fancy. Without those sequences, there would be nothing there -- but a movie cannot exist on rollick alone.
The plot is not only hard to follow, there seems to be nothing real at stake. Half the characters are already dead, and half the movie seems to involve swordfights with dead people who can't be killed with swords.
Not so much thought out as strung together -- colorful incident upon colorful incident, but without logic, gathering suspense or any attempt to establish emotional connections between audience and actors.
Depp descends into the shallows of self-parody, and the plot, keen to tie up every narrative loose end, manages to be simultaneously expansive and incomprehensible.
What began as a thrilling and engrossing entertainer ends up as a terribly tedious franchisee -- the convoluted plot leaves you more confused than involved.
A pirate's appeal is based in large part on his status as a renegade. But Verbinski gives us pirate codes, law books, and congresses-hardly the stuff of swashbuckling lore.
The movie ends up like Davy Jones himself -- many-tentacled, full of bluster, and devoid of a beating heart.
As epic summer movies go, At World's End was pretty good. But don't try to make sense of anything, or you may suffer an aneurysm.
Just how much are you willing to forgive Johnny Depp and that sea-dog swagger of his?
While it fails in matching the unpredictable excitement of the original, this is more of what I'd want in Pirates sequels. Just a little less of it.
More of the same from the second film really. Has its moments but didn't find as funny as the other 2 films. Still has some great special effects and action scenes...but just felt something was missing this time?
Well shiver my timbers...this here be damn complicated! The third and final part of the pirates trilogy (or so we thought). I've never until now have not understood the plot of a Disney film. Yep its long long long, overdrawn, CGI filled complicated mess with so many sub plots and double crosses I forgot what the film was about. This film is also, apparently, the most expensive film ever made ever! how fitting that its the worst in the trilogy.
In short you have to know the back story for the last two films relatively well to keep up. The plot is even more convoluted than the second film and unfortunately it no longer has the wow factor, originality or nice fantasy element either. To be honest whilst watching I got a distinct sensation that I was watching deleted scenes merely pieced together to create another film. The film really does have that slightly disjointed vibe about it.
I think one of the things that got me was the fact the characters just didn't matter anymore. In the second film Davy Jones was the terror of the seas with his firesome appearance, monstrous crew and pet Kraken (unadventurous end for that beastie), now in this film he is reduced to lingering in the background whilst people talk. A great character reduced to an extra virtually. Barbossa of course was the terror of the first film and he has now been slowly reduced to Sparrow's sidekick of sorts, then we have new character Sao Feng who really doesn't matter. He looks good and its a nice touch to see the Orient in the film but the whole setup is wasted! Again merely background fodder whilst we must watch Depp do his now overdone thing and the quite uninteresting love conflict between Turner and Swann.
I might add that Knightly has been completely covered in makeup for this last entry, absolutely smothered on her face. She looks like an orange with thick eyebrows! its pretty bad and pretty obvious if you ask me, looks unintentionally amusing.
Yet the sequences showing Sparrow's descent into madness whilst in Davy Jones locker I quite liked even though many didn't. I actually thought those scenes were quite original and well thought out giving us something fresh which is quite hard really, especially with the content you're trying to visualise here. The little moments of quirky insanity with Sparrow felt a bit Raimi-esque if you ask me, reminded me of 'Army of Darkness' and Ash going nuts whilst splitting in two. A bit of a stump in the films fluidity sure but it showed some ingenuity, giving some more uniqueness in-between the other bland action bits.
Of course this being a modern day sequel the films gotta be BIG, REAL BIG! You want overblown CGI enhanced action set pieces then voila! I can't deny it all looks terrific and perfectly piratey but blimey gov! How overboard must they go...no pun intended. The perfect example? How about Turner and Swann in a blazing cutlass battle with hordes of bad guys in the midst of a booming sea storm. During this pitch battle to the death they shout out to Barbossa to marry them...he too is in the midst of a fight to the death.
So that he does, we have an utterly ludicrous action sequence with all three exterminating every bad guy with ease whilst they get married. Now I realise this film is purely for fun and all ages, to a degree, but come on, did we have to go there? Its sequences like this that totally remove you from the film. Sure you gotta have some suspension of disbelief and that's why its OK to have some slightly fantastical elements but at least give us some small note of emotion, a small drop of actual realistic danger for the characters. No point loading up a brand new video game only to slap on the invincibility cheat and play through.
It takes us awhile but when we do eventually get to the pirate convention in Shipwreck Cove the film does perk up a bit momentarily. The introduction of the pirate city council as it were...was a nice touch, some great looking characters there. I liked how they show us pirates from various different countries, different backgrounds and cultures, they are all well crafted if a little bit cliched too just for fun. But all this leads me to another problem, why couldn't we see more of these guys and less of the rest? The finale sea battle builds up as if we will see every pirate and his crew fight...what happened there?! We see Sparrow's Pearl go up against the Dutchman but what about the masses of other ships? All the other pirate ships? I thought they wanted to fight, instead they all watch? I think Verbinski finally realised it was all getting out of hand and too big, I'll just conveniently let the other vessels disappear for the last bit.
In all honesty I had to do some internet/wiki research after watching this film to actually understand what happened here and there, get to grips with the plot. The whole 'Calypso' thing had me floundered for some time I can't deny, had to pinpoint exactly what the hell was going on with that. The piratey dialog while sounding cool, didn't help with trying to follow various sub plots.
There are lots of nice fun little touches throughout the film which remind you what the film was previously...before it became too big. We all know the film is just too flippin busy, too much going on, I think they could of left a lot out or at least leave some characters out, have them tied up and done in the second film or early on. The whole franchise is terribly bloated when it didn't have to be. Its still a solid set of films with a good story, but the first film is the only one which is looked upon favourably, shame really as these last two films could/should so easily have been classics too.
Big budget films that gain a sequel that makes even more money than its predecessor is bound to become a franchise, regardless if there is a story to be told. In this case, a story was left open at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, but this film doesn't embrace it in the proper way. This is a franchise that progressively loses steam as each film is made, but I personally think the overwhelming amount of hate these sequels receive is a bit much. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is the type of film that relies too much on dialogue and too little on the action, and some films work with that wonderfully, but at nearly three hours, that becomes tiresome. This film has always been my least favourite of the franchise and here's why.
At the end of the previous film, the premise sets itself up to be an expedition to find Jack Sparrow. Now, I know that Johnny Depp's portrayal of this character has always been the biggest highlight for fans, but I would've loved if they took a bigger risk, making the entire plot a quest to find him. Instead, we see him about 30 minutes into the film, he is reunited, and then a new plot sets itself in motion. Sure, this premise has been done before, and the premise of this film is very reminiscent of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. In no way am I comparing this film to Star Wars, but I'm simply pointing out that a film has pulled this off in a far better way. The most interesting portion of this film was waiting to see where Jack ended up, but he is found even before the first act ends. This alone makes it the weakest in the franchise for not showing any guts, but the action in this film is probably the best in the franchise.
Personally, the promise of the first act is really what makes this film endurable. As soon as that storyline is through, the second act is pretty much entirely dialogue-driven, lasting for almost an hour and a half. Still to this day I find myself incredibly bored through the middle portion of this film, teetering on becoming an atrocious film. Happily, when the third act kicks into gear, it's very clear where they spent most of the budget for this film. If nothing else, the last 30-40 minutes of this film is everything that the action of this franchise should be delivering. When they reach the world's end and have the giant showdown, that was well worth the price of admission back in 2007, and still is today. The third act of this film alone is the reason I give this film a pass as a whole. What also contradicts this statement is the fact that this is an incredibly strange film at times.
The characters throughout this franchise are all pretty unique in their character designs, but that's not where the strangeness comes from here. There are far too many bizarre visuals and over-exposed scenery that takes me completely out of the film. This may be getting nit-picky, but Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End can be a very weird film sometimes. The uniqueness that each film goes for can be highly commended, but there is a border between what's weird to just be weird and what's weird to be clever and make the story more interesting. This is a film that goes for weird, just to be weird.
Upon its initial release, less than a year after its predecessor, I was very excited, only to be severely let down. I quite enjoyed the second instalment, and I can only say that about half of this film. The action is some of the best this franchise will probably ever see and the opening premise in finding Jack Sparrow was very interesting. Aside from that, this is a very plotty film that wastes too much time on exposition and silly visuals that I loses my attention quite often. If you are a huge fan of the original film like many people are, then this is an average watch at best when going back to binge the franchise. Personally, I feel this film is just as boring and tedious to get through, as it is entertaining, which is incredibly frustrating. In the end, there are some nice moments sprinkled throughout an otherwise extremely messy film. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End still remains to be my least favourite of the franchise.
The third instalment of the saga of Captain Jack Sparrow sees him rescued from Davy Jones' Locker to help defeat Clark and The Flying Dutchman. World's End makes a lot of mistakes the previous film made; it concentrates far too much on spectacle and special effects rather than characterisation, the film again resembling a very elaborate cartoon in places. The amusing eccentricities brought to Jack's character by Johnny felt a lot more forced and there are too many characters vying for screen time. This results in Chow Yun Fat being completely wasted and Norrington's character development, which was the best thing about Dead Man's Chest, is completely ignored. But one mistake it does not make is in the pacing; although it is rather longer, it never drags or bores. There's a lot of fun to be had in the one-upmanship between Jack and Barbossa and the witty dialogue from the first film makes a welcome return. Again, like The Matrix and Bourne films, it makes the second film seem rather irrelevant, but as a whole it's an exciting and entertaining romp that won't disappoint Jack's fans.
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