Director Gore Verbinski spent most of the last decade building Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme-park ride into a spectacular global box-office juggernaut with 3 consecutive hits starring Johnny Depp as a fey buccaneer whose penchant for outlandish outfits is exceed only by his ability to snatch survival from an endless series of seemingly disastrous predicaments. Having thrilled Disney’s shareholders, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Verbinski & Depp decided to double-down on the movie-going public’s penchant for repetition by spending an astounding quarter of a billion dollars to deliver this bloated, incomprehensible cinematic turkey to theaters across the land. What a horrific way to celebrate our nation’s birthday…</p>
Suffice it to say that Depp plays Tonto with Halloween-style facial makeup and a dead crow atop his head, swiveling from crude Pidgin English to bitter but articulate orations about the treatment of Indians by whites. His masked sidekick (for the roles are clearly reversed here) is portrayed by Armie Hammer, a likeable enough hunk in his mid-twenties who’s burdened with some of the most astoundingly daft dialogue to grace a soundtrack in the past decade.
What do you get when you toss this embarrassingly concocted pair into an incoherent storyline written by a committee of three and slather on lots of expensive but utterly mismatched exterior shots (shame on cinematographer Bojan Bazelli whose choice of film stock, lighting & shot composition are awful)? You treat audiences who deserve better to a 2 and a half hour insult to their intelligence. Moviegoers are staying away in droves and for good reason.
The Verdict? An arrogantly conceived, amateurishly executed box-office disaster – its fate couldn’t be more appropriate.
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