Thoughts on POTC5
Not that anyone cares, but I’m very conflicted about how to feel with the new Pirates movie. Spoilers ahead, obviously. Overall, the plot was cool, I really liked the villains, and the stunts and special effects were incredible. But one thing is bothering me so much that I really can’t overlook it, even in light of all the super cool features I just mentioned.
They undid Jack Sparrow’s entire origin story??
Like, I get that this isn’t a big deal for people who aren’t massive fans like I am, but the reason I love Jack Sparrow so much is that he is the definition of chaotic good. Jack Sparrow became a pirate because he refused to carry slaves on the cargo ship the Wicked Wench, and so as punishment, he was chained to the ship as it was lit aflame, and left to die (which is when he made a deal with Davy Jones to resurrect the Wench and turn it into the Black Pearl).
In the flash-back seen between Salazar and Sparrow, there is a purposeful shot revealing that the ship Jack is on is, in fact, the Wicked Wench. However, it is clear that he is not in charge of this ship (until the captain dies, of course). At first, I was thinking this was pre- East India Trading Co. Era, but in the middle of the scene, Jack hoists a pirate flag on the ship. So now, apparently, the Wicked Wench was always a pirate ship? I mean, this can’t have been post-slave incident, because after that the ship became the Pearl.
So, essentially, the script writers just…skips over that narrative, I guess? Not to mention that in this movie, Jack gets his compass from some random ass dude, when it was canonically mentioned in the second movie that he got the compass from a barter with Tia Dalma…
And you know what? It pisses me the fuck off. Jack Sparrow isn’t some “accidental” pirate who just so happens to inherit a compass. He was a purposeful, decisive young man who took a stand against a system he knew was wrong, and died for his beliefs. He may be spineless and cunning at times, but he does have a heart. He literally laid down his life for those slaves, and its a damn shame that we don’t get to officially see that.
Now, I’m not saying that this movie completely erases that narrative; this flash-back might somehow weirdly fit in the given timeline, but the fact that it wasn’t properly explained or explored is just shitty. What they essentially do is, they give the super-nerds, people who love this universe, a small glimpse at this origin, but then leave it up to the audience to either decide that this new information replaces the canon story we’ve been told before, or they must figure out some odd way to fit it into the story we’ve been told with The Price of Freedom. Either way, it’s just thrown in there. I would have totally been fine with the scene if they weren’t on the Wicked Wench. Like, if they were on just a regular ship, I’d totally believe everything. But no, the scene takes place on a ship that will later become the infamous Black Pearl, and you’re telling me it was a pirate vessel from the beginning? Bullshit.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t see the movie. Please, go see the movie. It’s a great movie! Johnny Depp is such a great man and I was so incredibly thrilled to see him on screen reprising one of his best roles. Go and make your own judgements for yourself. Just know that Jack Sparrow has much more depth than what we’re given in this movie.