Comfortable and Furious

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

It has been a long and arduous road for our Captain Jack Sparrow, that twinkle-toed cocksucker that we have come to know and tolerate. He has braved many adventures and crossed paths with many a foe, but none so dangerous as Disney’s marketing department. From the bloated and pointless Curse of the Pearl Necklace to the meandering Fuck Me If I Understand Any of This, our favorite mincing pirate has become truly lost amidst a backstory that rivals Dune for its unnecessary complexity. I have seen all of the films, and remember nothing about them. Nothing whatsoever stuck after all the sword fighting and scurvy-free journeys. I do recall in the first film the endless and dull fight between two undead pirates, wondering why I should really give a frog’s fat ass about a fight in which neither party can be hurt or killed. One of them could have sat back and put the kettle on while the other stabbed him incessantly, since there were no wounds involved. Since then, Captain Jack has travelled the world, found the end of the earth, and came to terms with being the only pirate alive who was not actually into rape.

In On Stranger Tedium, Jack meets a woman from his past while searching for the Fountain of you already don’t care about this movie, so there is no need to finish this sentence, is there? Really, with Depp on down phoning it in for beer money, the story has ceased to matter. What is important is that the coke mules deliver their product on time, so the Hollywood machine keeps humming. Parts five and six of this series are already in preproduction, so we can expect a bottomless well that undiscriminating filmgoers fill with cash. Part four is even more lazy than its predecessors, with boring dialogue separating lame set pieces that qualify as action in the same way a clitoris is a cock.

One chase scene takes place in the streets of London, and ends up in an alley where Jack happens to jump off into the shadows. One soldier is about to shoot him in the back, but luckily enough one of Jack’s accomplices happened to be waiting right there to shoot him. Action this coherent has made nary an appearance since Hudson Hawk. Judi Dench makes a cameo for some reason. A mutineer is punished by putting him in a boat, and Blackbeard shoots him with a flamethrower – and this is played as some kind of tragedy. A boat is being attacked by vicious mermaids (don’t ask) and Jack chases them away with a distant explosion somehow. I understand – I check the fuck out when explosions are used to break the boredom.

Here are the characters in this sequel that has come to define ‘arbitrary’:

Captain Jack Dipshit – based on the mannerisms of Keith Richards, this scumbag wore out his welcome shortly after the opening credits of the first film. He dances about, slurs his words, and somehow this justified billions in box office takes. He is intended to be clever, but we must take this for granted. In one scene, he confronts Blackbeard with a Macguffin strapped to a pig, and threatens to let it run away (Blackbeard’s men have rifles, by the way) if he does not get three demands. One, he wants Angelica to come to no harm, but she is in no danger anyway. Two, he wants his compass back, which he promptly gives away. Three, he wants to guarantee the safety of some friend of his, who Blackbeard did not meet until he showed up to negotiate. This scene passes, apologizes for existing, and is forgotten immediately.

Angelica – an enigmatic woman from Sparrow’s past who may be a con artist. For whatever reason, Penelope Cruz is a skillful actress as long as she is not speaking English. She does not show her rack, which is a crime against humanity. She is Blackbeard’s daughter which is important to the plot in that it isn’t.

Barbossa – Geoffrey Rush on vacation is a waste of time and space. Yarr and all that, since The King’s Speech did not pay the bills. He is this movie’s Odious Comic Relief.

Blackbeard – Ian McShane hates the audience. He glowers, and struts, and has immortal magic powers when the plot requires. He is the villain, though there is no difference between the pirates excepting layers of eyeshadow.

Captain Teague – Keith Richards is in these films as a joke, and they keep repeating the joke. Gets funnier every time, right?

King George – Richard Griffiths is hell and gone from Withnail & I.

Philip – a deeply annoying fuckhead who is a cleric and speaks only in self-righteous biblebabble. Somehow, Blackbeard refrains from disemboweling this twinkie so we can hear him never ever shut the fuck up.

Syrena – a nude mermaid who is saved by the power of forgiveness and faith. No, really.

This brings me to the creepy Christian subtext (is there any other kind?) that is stapled onto what should be a fluffy and stupid adventure. Philip browbeats a notorious murdering pirate about repenting, and soul saving every fucking moment. Well, that is what pirates do, and frankly these non-raping trannies are harmless compared to their contemporaries. Somehow Jack escapes these tirades, since he is the protagonist. Philip does get to save one soul, namely the mermaid Syrena. Yes, they need a mermaid to unlock an achievement that will get them the Fountain of Yoof, and they manage to capture one after a swarm of mermaids actually exterminate an entire naval vessel. We are intended to care about her, since she is white and naked, and actually I did care about that bit. But in any case, Philip is obsessed with saving her, presumably so someone will listen to his bitch ass, and so he does while spouting off stuff about how faith can save you (he was actually using a knife to cut her bonds, but he prefers the metaphorical to the material). He is injured, and she saves him by dragging him to the deep, so either he turns into a mermaid or she eats him. Love conquers all, or at least provides meat for a week. At the climactic battle at the Fountain of Youth, the Spanish army arrives and declares that nobody grants immortality except God, and destroys the ‘pagan place’. This is not important subtext, but makes you question why any of this is important since the Fountain was destroyed anyway, and there was nothing to gain in the end. Still, the use of a country as mindlessly Christian as Spain for this scene is interesting. There is another small tangent involving Philip declaring that the mermaid has a name, and does she not bleed. A timely and essential anti-racism message in a film based on a theme park ride. Still, if Phil and Syrena actually do get together in the end, then we can thank the bible for advocating bestiality.

The good thing about Pirates is not its action, which sucks, nor its acting, which is puke. It is that you can leave to take a piss a couple of times and miss absolutely nothing. Penelope Cruz should be banned from films with English in them, unless Woody Allen is involved. Christian messages should be in every film as long as interspecies mating is the end goal. Johnny Depp is terrible and brings the same gimpy affectations to every single role, turning all of his projects into de facto Tim Burton films, and I hope his house burns down with his dick in it.