ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
This came as a surprise to us, perhaps not to you, but in certain dark but whimsical corners of the Internet, a furious battle is raging between pirates and ninjas. It's a little like that scene in the movie Stand By Me. Who'd win a fight? Superman or Mighty Mouse? Likewise, a pirate or a ninja.
Well, with a major pirate film in theaters this weekend raising the Jolly Roger's profile we thought that we would give our regular film critic a break on this one and enlist the help of a critic who admits to an oxymoronic condition. He is a high-profile ninja. The Ninja, known to some for his podcasts entitled Ask A Ninja, obliges us by throwing down the gauntlet to his mortal pirate enemies.
THE NINJA (Ask the Ninja): Here goes The Ninja with the ninja review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Okay, I don't want to spoil it for anybody who might not have seen it yet, so I'll just tell you this one little thing, just to give you some context. It's a horrible movie.
I went and did the research on, like, how they came up with this movie and basically it was inspired by old-school robot pirates. Like, like, I'm talking Chuck E. Cheese style. Like sub-Chuck E. Cheese style. So that was where they were starting from, from the movie. And then they basically took a step backwards. It's worse than bad animatronic pirates.
The structure of the movie, the best I could tell, is they loaded about four or five different screenplays into a shotgun and then just pulled the trigger and then sent somebody around, like a PA around to just pick up random words and piece them together and then hand that to the actors. And then even that script was lost about halfway through shooting and then the director just made it up every day. It was just, like, and then today, this person shows up and there are pirates.
The other thing about this movie is, everybody was a pirate. If you were in the first movie and you weren't a pirate, you're now a pirate in this movie. And I'm not just saying that because I don't like pirates. The only thing to which there are more than pirates in this movie are plotlines. Everybody gets a plotline. If you're a dog, you get a plotline. If you're a ship, you definitely get a plotline. The ocean gets a plotline. If you're just a single body part, a lot of times you have your plotline, like if you're just an eye or a heart or something, you get a whole story. But they don't finish any of them. They think about it, but then they just keep adding more plotlines. Like literally the last line of the movie is a new plotline. It's a never-ending story, but with no luck dragon.
And the direction, I don't know that there actually was a director, but I'm told a name came up and it said Gore Verbinski, and I'll tell you this much, it could have used a lot more gore and a lot less Verbinski, which I think is Russian for bad dialogue.
The big thing that they're fighting this whole time is this Kraken that nobody can beat. Kraken! Kraken! Kraken! Trust me, I have fought a Kraken. Kraken! Kraken! Kraken! It's not that hard.
If this movie was called Ninjas of the Caribbean, ninjas don't just amble around doing bad Keith Richards impersonations. We get the job done. If there's a chest, it doesn't matter if there's a dead man in it or a dead man on it or a dead man, we're going to get the chest and get it back. Ninjas of the Caribbean would be a great movie.
Here's my advice to you regarding this movie. Save your money. Just, just dress up like a clown, jump into a giant aquarium and sing the lyrics to Hit Me with Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar backwards. At least that will make more sense than Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
Wait a minute. There wasn't even a dead man in it.
SIEGEL: That was The Ninja of Ask A Ninja fame with his review of the new movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Man's Chest, and you can see a video of his performance at npr.org.
In the interest of balance, the next ninja movie that comes along, we will get a pirate to do a review.
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