If someone tells me there’s going to be a firework display just down the road and that the organisers have blown $200 million on the thing, I’m definitely going to go along and have a look. With that philosophy in mind I went with the family to see the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie – At World’s End.
We sat there dazed by moments of brilliance from the legions special effects teams, stunt performers, martial arts choreographers, set designers, and actors. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the little bits that made up the film. But saying that is as meaningless as admiring all the individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The question is, did it work as a whole?
When I walked out of the cinema some three hours later, I found myself relieved that it was over.
‘That was kind of fun,’ someone said, ‘but there wasn’t really a story.’
I begged to differ. There was too much story – none of which I found myself caring about. Every character was double-crossing everyone else. No one said or showed what they really felt. None of the many heroes of the film had a discernable inner journey. Sure they were in danger. But did I or any of the other members of the audience really give a damn? We were just waiting for more explosions and cameo performances.
The next day, my daughter, as keen a Pirates of the Caribbean fan as ever you are likely to meet, confessed to me that she couldn’t really remember any of the scenes. But it was fun, she said. And that about sums it up for me. If movies were only measured by the weight of gunpowder ignited, this would be a classic.