5 Ways the Original Pirates of the Caribbean is the Funniest One

5 Ways the Original Pirates of the Caribbean is the Funniest One
Image credit: Legion-Media

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of those franchises that struggled with transitioning from a standalone movie to a movie series, perhaps because it was not originally intended to last beyond a single, self-contained film.

Humour stands out among all the aspects in which the sequels fell short compared to the first movie.

While humour is difficult to condense into a bullet-point list of ingredients, let's outline the more agreed-upon reasons why the original Pirates of the Caribbean remains the funniest.

It was Fresh

Of course, jokes grow stale from repetition, and character quirks become tiresome. The sequels doubled down on what worked in the first movie instead of introducing new elements.

It Had the Best Lines

'But you have heard of me!' Sure, we have, Jack. The original movie was the only one with lines that spawned internet memes, like 'You best start believing in ghost stories, Miss Turner.'

It Had the Best Tone

Notice how Barbossa's line above, intended as a dark joke within the movie itself, also underscored one of its genuinely unsettling moments? The original film blended humour and an undertow of seriousness in a way that's genuinely difficult to reproduce, so it's no wonder the sequels lost it.

Sequels Overused Jack Sparrow

Certainly, Johnny Depp stole almost every scene he was in, but Jack Sparrow was not the main character in the original film. Will had more screen time, and the plot revolved around him and Elizabeth.

The sequels suffered from the too-much-of-a-good-thing syndrome, making Jack's antics the constant focus and thus causing them to grow stale even faster than they otherwise would have.

Sequels Dumbed Down Jack Sparrow's Character

This is likely the most significant reason. As one astute (and highly upvoted) Redditor noted, Jack in the first movie was 'the smart man playing the fool. Then they turned his character into the fool playing the smart man, and he took a nosedive.'

Indeed, in the original film, Jack was a smart, even coldly calculating character, taking the misfortunes of a pirate's life with humour and panache. The sequels gradually reduced him to his personality's 'funny' aspects.

To add insult to injury, they featured lots of this 'funny'/dumbed-down Jack Sparrow with little serious substance to contrast all the comic relief against, thus, ultimately devolving into rather uninspired caricatures of the original movie.