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Pirates Of The Caribbean: The 10 Most Underrated Elements Of The Series

It’s easy for a franchise to lose its way, get bogged down in a never-ending saga, or perhaps link together an otherwise separate set of solo films. The Fantastic Beasts trilogy is a testament to that. However, the Pirates series managed to have a surprising sense of continuity, with an original trilogy that feels like one entity and two additional releases that thematically continue the journey.

When breaking that down further, even the second and third installments act as a part one and two of sorts, a separate arc within the larger tapestry. The audience doesn’t get bored of the overall story because it continues to evolve, with the protagonist at its heart learning and changing as the films do. They establish both longer and shorter forms of storytelling within this format with characters entering and exiting throughout.

The Background Characters

There’s such a rich array of characters across the films and every fan has their favorite. Of course, the leads of the piece are given the credit they deserve, with the likes of Jack, Elizabeth, Will, and Barbossa all getting much of the fanfare. In every release though there’s a supporting character who could just as well be the protagonist.

Each individual appears to be given a genuine point of view, their own decisions changing based on the situation. Anyone could stab the other in the back, but they are easily recognizable and ultimately maintain clear goals. Whether it’s Mr. Gibbs or Sao Feng, each individual brings something different to the table and boasts an authentic voice.

Even More Franchise Potential

The Pirates series has established that there are so many directions it could go in moving forward, with a vast roster of characters and concepts to explore. Thus far the movies have really only followed the adventures of a single character. Considering it was based on a ride and there have already been five installments, that’s pretty impressive.

The Pirate Brethren and its many lords are a perfect example of how expansive the franchise is. There are so many stories waiting to be told just out of that concept alone. Not to mention, characters like Red who were born from the ride, have yet to even make an appearance. Ultimately, the franchise potential is limitless because of the density and creativity of the world-building.

Mythology And Fantasy Elements

It would have been easy for Disney to create a pirate adventure that stayed with the traditional format of the genre. After all, Treasure Island for example has been produced without fantasy elements countless times. The sword and ship formula is what audiences are used to.

But instead, the Pirates series played into its fantasy elements, taking from pirate mythology and other legends from across human history, and allowing them to play a part in these heightened productions. Mermaids, Calypso, Davy Jones, and the Kraken are just a few examples of the excellent use of myths from a cornucopia of cultures.

Defining The Genre

Pirates Of The Caribbean has had a lasting impact on the action-adventure and fantasy genres. Audiences expect a certain thing from major blockbusters that was partially fueled by the sheer scope and scale of what these productions achieved. But there’s more to look at in regards to their influence than just the traditional Hollywood output.

Pirate-based films might be few and far between, but the series elevated the genre and brought them back to relevance. It demonstrated that old genre pieces could be renewed. In fact, the way in which Pirates Of The Caribbean defined the sword and ship genre, could also be attributed to the inspiration rise of other forgotten yet once-popular film categories. Would the classic western return if Pirates hadn’t shown that the old could be new once more?

Creative Sword Fights

There have been so many sword-based action sequences in cinema history that it’s almost impossible to continue to innovate. Even looking outside of the pirate genre, lightsaber battles could be easily stolen from, as could any other melee adjacent scenes. Pirates Of The Caribbean is so imaginative in its setup though.

The action sequences are always focused on the combat, but usually, give its opponents ulterior goals to complete as well. The battle on the moving wheel is a perfect example in Dead Man’s Chest, as the trio fight over the key, and their own survival, while balancing across a moving wheel. No matter which scenario is pulled up, there’s likely something that hasn’t been seen on film before wrapped into the choreography that keeps these sequences so fresh.

Capturing Ship Action

The sword fights aren’t the only action-based moments in these films. Of course, there are shootouts, but those aren’t particularly groundbreaking. A few fistfights are littered across the series as well but the way the ships are captured in all their glory is phenomenal.

It’s really difficult to capture battles of this scale on camera. It’s super tricky to bring in water elements into any sequence. To make everything look realistic, balance multiple ships and characters in a difficult setting, and make it both gritty and fun is almost impossible. Somehow every film serves up not a confusing mess, but a masterclass in filmmaking when it comes to pirate vessels.

Visuals Gags

Regardless of the quality of the film, every single Pirate Of The Caribbean movie boasts some genuinely brilliant visual gags. The humor is of course in the script as well which is where most of the focus is placed, but there are plenty of demonstrable moments where the team managed to capture excellent slapstick and well-choreographed visual comedy.

From suddenly running away to the strange facial reactions of the characters, or perhaps even the inclusion of Jack the monkey, the visual gags throughout help to elevate the pictures, even while dialogue is taking place. Audiences have to pay attention to the backgrounds to get the full picture! A small injection of humor is given to each sequence because of these physical cues.

Consistent Cinematography

The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has chosen a very distinct cinematography style that they keep to throughout. There’s a layer of realism to even the most fantastical characters or locations, yet it doesn’t shy away from vibrancy and a strong color palette either.

This combination of grit and grime, alongside a full range of imaginative backgrounds and costume choices, has resulted in a set of movies that look absolutely gorgeous and feel incredibly real. The cinematography is never lessened and the visual effects should also be commended within that. It’s an element that’s often overlooked because of what’s happening, rather than how it visually plays.

Complexity Of The Villains

The villains are complimented again and again. There’s no denying that they are truly a memorable range of antagonists but while they are the best at being bad, there’s something more going on here. The complexity of these characters is really underrated.

Davy Jones and his broken heart, Captain Barbossa and his mixture of pride and ambition, Sao Feng and his contrasting allegiances, and that’s not even including Blackbeard or Beckett. Every form of antagonist is displayed and each one not only has a clear set of goals but a nuance in why they must achieve them and how they can go about it.


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Pirates Of The Caribbean: The 10 Most Underrated Elements Of The Series

It’s easy for a franchise to lose its way, get bogged down in a never-ending saga, or perhaps link together an otherwise separate set of solo films. The Fantastic Beasts trilogy is a testament to that. However, the Pirates series managed to have a surprising sense of continuity, with an original trilogy that feels like one entity and two additional releases that thematically continue the journey.
When breaking that down further, even the second and third installments act as a part one and two of sorts, a separate arc within the larger tapestry. The audience doesn’t get bored of the overall story because it continues to evolve, with the protagonist at its heart learning and changing as the films do. They establish both longer and shorter forms of storytelling within this format with characters entering and exiting throughout.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr2’); });

The Background Characters

There’s such a rich array of characters across the films and every fan has their favorite. Of course, the leads of the piece are given the credit they deserve, with the likes of Jack, Elizabeth, Will, and Barbossa all getting much of the fanfare. In every release though there’s a supporting character who could just as well be the protagonist.
Each individual appears to be given a genuine point of view, their own decisions changing based on the situation. Anyone could stab the other in the back, but they are easily recognizable and ultimately maintain clear goals. Whether it’s Mr. Gibbs or Sao Feng, each individual brings something different to the table and boasts an authentic voice.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr3’); });

Even More Franchise Potential

The Pirates series has established that there are so many directions it could go in moving forward, with a vast roster of characters and concepts to explore. Thus far the movies have really only followed the adventures of a single character. Considering it was based on a ride and there have already been five installments, that’s pretty impressive.
The Pirate Brethren and its many lords are a perfect example of how expansive the franchise is. There are so many stories waiting to be told just out of that concept alone. Not to mention, characters like Red who were born from the ride, have yet to even make an appearance. Ultimately, the franchise potential is limitless because of the density and creativity of the world-building.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr4’); });

Mythology And Fantasy Elements

It would have been easy for Disney to create a pirate adventure that stayed with the traditional format of the genre. After all, Treasure Island for example has been produced without fantasy elements countless times. The sword and ship formula is what audiences are used to.
But instead, the Pirates series played into its fantasy elements, taking from pirate mythology and other legends from across human history, and allowing them to play a part in these heightened productions. Mermaids, Calypso, Davy Jones, and the Kraken are just a few examples of the excellent use of myths from a cornucopia of cultures.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr5’); });

Defining The Genre

Pirates Of The Caribbean has had a lasting impact on the action-adventure and fantasy genres. Audiences expect a certain thing from major blockbusters that was partially fueled by the sheer scope and scale of what these productions achieved. But there’s more to look at in regards to their influence than just the traditional Hollywood output.
Pirate-based films might be few and far between, but the series elevated the genre and brought them back to relevance. It demonstrated that old genre pieces could be renewed. In fact, the way in which Pirates Of The Caribbean defined the sword and ship genre, could also be attributed to the inspiration rise of other forgotten yet once-popular film categories. Would the classic western return if Pirates hadn’t shown that the old could be new once more?
Creative Sword Fights

There have been so many sword-based action sequences in cinema history that it’s almost impossible to continue to innovate. Even looking outside of the pirate genre, lightsaber battles could be easily stolen from, as could any other melee adjacent scenes. Pirates Of The Caribbean is so imaginative in its setup though.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr-REPEAT6’); });

The action sequences are always focused on the combat, but usually, give its opponents ulterior goals to complete as well. The battle on the moving wheel is a perfect example in Dead Man’s Chest, as the trio fight over the key, and their own survival, while balancing across a moving wheel. No matter which scenario is pulled up, there’s likely something that hasn’t been seen on film before wrapped into the choreography that keeps these sequences so fresh.
Capturing Ship Action

The sword fights aren’t the only action-based moments in these films. Of course, there are shootouts, but those aren’t particularly groundbreaking. A few fistfights are littered across the series as well but the way the ships are captured in all their glory is phenomenal.
It’s really difficult to capture battles of this scale on camera. It’s super tricky to bring in water elements into any sequence. To make everything look realistic, balance multiple ships and characters in a difficult setting, and make it both gritty and fun is almost impossible. Somehow every film serves up not a confusing mess, but a masterclass in filmmaking when it comes to pirate vessels.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr-REPEAT7’); });

Visuals Gags

Regardless of the quality of the film, every single Pirate Of The Caribbean movie boasts some genuinely brilliant visual gags. The humor is of course in the script as well which is where most of the focus is placed, but there are plenty of demonstrable moments where the team managed to capture excellent slapstick and well-choreographed visual comedy.
From suddenly running away to the strange facial reactions of the characters, or perhaps even the inclusion of Jack the monkey, the visual gags throughout help to elevate the pictures, even while dialogue is taking place. Audiences have to pay attention to the backgrounds to get the full picture! A small injection of humor is given to each sequence because of these physical cues.
Consistent Cinematography

The Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise has chosen a very distinct cinematography style that they keep to throughout. There’s a layer of realism to even the most fantastical characters or locations, yet it doesn’t shy away from vibrancy and a strong color palette either.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr-REPEAT8’); });

This combination of grit and grime, alongside a full range of imaginative backgrounds and costume choices, has resulted in a set of movies that look absolutely gorgeous and feel incredibly real. The cinematography is never lessened and the visual effects should also be commended within that. It’s an element that’s often overlooked because of what’s happening, rather than how it visually plays.
Complexity Of The Villains

The villains are complimented again and again. There’s no denying that they are truly a memorable range of antagonists but while they are the best at being bad, there’s something more going on here. The complexity of these characters is really underrated.
Davy Jones and his broken heart, Captain Barbossa and his mixture of pride and ambition, Sao Feng and his contrasting allegiances, and that’s not even including Blackbeard or Beckett. Every form of antagonist is displayed and each one not only has a clear set of goals but a nuance in why they must achieve them and how they can go about it.

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