There are iconic characters that are defined by the right elements. Characters such as Darth Vader, Indiana Jones and James Bond became iconic through the visionaries and the talents who helped create them. Yet for Johnny Depp, he has created one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history all by himself.
Jack Sparrow is a creation sprung from the fruitful imagination of one of the greatest actors of our time. Even if it’s said to be inspired by Keith Richards, Depp’s Jack Sparrow is a fresh creature, complicated, funny, tender and sharp all at once. The originality comes from Depp’s choices as an actor. On paper, Sparrow reads like your everyday run-of-the-mill pirate, complete with obligatory “arrghs” and “mateys.” Yet what Depp has ingeniously done with the character is what makes the Pirates movies worth seeing.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest works best because of Johnny Depp, and once you’ve figured out that you’re in for the 2nd act of a larger story, the more you’ll enjoy it. So it’s a whopping corporate cash machine designed to make millions of bucks. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. A shopping mall is pretty much the same thing but if you know what you’re coming into, you’ll come out satisfied.
To make the whole Pirates experience sweeter, Jerica and I went to the Pirates Celebration in Disneyland where we got free “Aztec Gold” souvenirs, pirate bandanas and all sorts of treasures. The newly spiffed up Pirates of the Caribbean attraction is pretty darn cool. The attention to detail is amazing with improved sound and lighting effects. It’s much faster (and wetter) but the real fun is Jack Sparrow’s on board. He looks much more real than his older animatronic matey’s but when he pops up, he easily upstages all the other animatronics around him.
They say that the Pirates movies have come full circle, from ride to movie and back to the ride. Having Sparrow immortalized in his true birthplace (the ride) proves my theory of why Johnny Depp is the man: he has taken essentially nothing, and made something truly unforgettable, and now, quite possibly, immortalized forever. Now that kind of talent is the real attraction.