Johnny Depp, Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

My Favorite Scene: Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) “Enter Captain Jack”

There was a time, oh so very long ago, when Johnny Depp just made indie movies.  His casting in a movie about a ride at Disneyland was odd.  This was during barrel scraping days when they were making movies about their rides (Eddie Murphy’s Haunted Mansion ring a bell?).  Pirates of the Caribbean was getting rave reviews though.  I know the sequels have dulled the magic of the first film, and likely the fifth (which comes six years after the fourth and no one seems to be excited over it) won’t help.  However, remember back to 2003 when you first beheld Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow: the worst/best pirate to grace the screen.  His character’s entrance is rivaled only by Wilder’s Wonka as the best of all-time.  One of my favorite shots period is the slow descent of his boat to perfectly time his lurch on to the dock.  The Curse of the Black Pearl is one of the best action/adventure films of the 21st Century.  Nothing that followed can change that, and that this film inadvertently sent Depp on a career plunging spiral of self-indulgent nonsense, doesn’t take away from this performance and this moment.  I could watch it a thousand times.  Never fails to make me smile.

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2 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) “Enter Captain Jack””

  1. I always wonder if it’s really is that hard for writers and filmmakers to come up with new spins on old franchises. What if storm clouds gathered over the entire Earth, threatening to flood the planet with rain like a second Biblical flood, and Jack was tasked with finding the world’s last surviving plesiosaur, which had an object inside its stomach that would dissipate the clouds when put in its proper place at the center of a special machine? What if, in a reaction to being persecuted, all the pirates of the world banded together and formed their own sovereign nation by dismantling their ships and creating an enormous, wooden, ramshackle floating continent? Then an evil, demagogue pirate-leader rises to power and has the continent start to terrorize shorelines everywhere, and Jack must rally the population against him (these movies keep telling us how pirates have hearts of gold, after all). Or what if Jack had to pilot a boat on a quest through the same route that Odysseus once took, encountering similar dangers? Hell, what if Jack matched wits with an evil businessman who engaged in the sex trade, but with mermaids? No one even tries.

    Dave, I’ve told you many times to watch Twin Peaks to prepare for the revival. Well I watched the revival the other night, and I changed my mind. I am as devoted as ever, but I can no longer ask anyone to follow me down this path. God, no.

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  2. Just watched his intro the other day and it’s absolutely brilliant. The reveal that his ship is not so big. His tip of the hat to the dead pirates hanging by the sign. The way he steals the money after paying a bribe. You instantly like the guy in just a few minutes with hardly any dialogue.

    Liked by 1 person

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