I think anyone would walk into a movie like this with high expectations. This formula should work: great soundtrack from the 60’s, rock and roll pirates stealing the airwaves and giving the young people what they want to hear, nose-thumbing at the establishment, with a dose of a couple of top rate actors, Kenneth Branagh and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
First off, I felt the whole arc of the movie was ruined taking out any tension and conflict by giving us the Cliff Notes synopsis in subtitles before the movie even came on. What was the point of that? Show me, don’t tell me after I just paid $10.75 to park it in a seat for two hours. Much to my dismay I found it painfully cheesy in moments, dragged out and uncomfortable to watch. Even Kenneth Branagh’s airs “I’m going to shut this filth down” seemed campy and theatrical. Most of his sing-songy melodrama came off as a rookie theater major, like he was basking in the limelight of his very first “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” Shakespearean debut. It was a bit over-acted which just added to the whole camp/cheese factor. Maybe because what the formula seemed like a slam dunk – the whole drugs, sex and rock and roll, and women clamoring for the bad boy pirates on the water (even the unkempt, obese one – anything to sleep with a pirate!) – we can’t fathom it being bad. I found the movie uninspiring which leaves me little to write about. I have a difficult time writing about things that don’t compel me and am not crazy about spending my valuable time picking apart a movie either – to ignore it is a much better use of my time.
That said, I can’t even in good faith say, “Wait for it to come out on DVD.” I would relegate this movie to, “If you get bored on a long 15 hour flight to Bangkok and it happens to be in the movie queue then I guess you could watch it.”