The first time producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and the world’s most-beloved quirky actor, Johnny Depp teamed up together, they gave us three films about pirates sailing the seven seas, fighting mysterious monsters and ancient curses.
Now, the trio is back for essentially, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Wild West Adventures. With Depp given free license to add another wacky characters to his growing list, he is teamed with another do-gooder in Armie Hammer as they look to end corruption out in the old dusty west.
Hammer is the title character as John Reid, but not the main man of the show; Depp’s got that gig, as the spiritual American Indian Tonto. After a deadly shootout that leaves Reid’s brother dead and him surviving by the barest of margins, the loopy Tonto revives John to full health. Handing him a thin black mask, together Tonto and Reid seek vengeance and justice over the violent Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner).
Hammer is decent enough, portraying a man seeking justice, but he’s also not the adventurous-seeking type; he’s more of an unappreciated screw-up and needs to put on the mask to save the day. He works well with Depp; two opposites bouncing off each other. Yet Tonto is just another Jack Sparrow, just not as witty or engaging.
Of course with every one in place, the film filters long like planned. It’s as action-packed as they come with a plethora of chases, ridiculously loud action sequences, jokes and gags all set in family-fun-and-friendly manner. It’s childish and thoroughly entertaining in its own way and that’s no surprise considering Verbinski’s track record (Mousehunt, Rango).
The thing is, how much is too much? Set at a whopping 149 minutes the film is far too long for a movie that could have been done in a shorter time frame. Its one of those where “too much of a good thing is bad for you”; the same logic applies here.
It takes nearly a full hour for Reid to become the Lone Ranger, and there’s still another solid 90 minutes of footage to go. Then we get a host of flashbacks of Tonto’s past, dealings between Butch and his bandits, corrupt tycoon Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson) mixing it up with more corrupt tycoons and a subplot involving the Madame of a brothel (Helena Bonham Carter), who’s fake leg moonlights as pistol.
At this point, the film begins to seriously lag and become too repetitive. Yes, it’s entertaining and fun to watch, and its bound to keep you engaged most of the time, but you’ll eventually get sick of a good thing.