Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Movie Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirate movies aren’t as common as they used to be, and swashbuckling isn’t what it once was. However, this movie has plenty of piratey, swashbuckling action, a great cast, and plenty of laughs.

Johnny Depp plays the charming rogue Captain Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom is Will Turner, a pirate’s son who hates pirates, Kierra Knightly is the Elizabeth, the Governor’s daughter who doesn’t quite accept the role society has in mind for her, and Geoffrey Rush is the Captain of zombie pirate ship The Black Pearl, all set to rid him and his crew of the curse that made them zombies. Sparrow was once Captain of the Black Pearl, and he knows the origin of the curse that affects his mutinous former crewmates. More importantly, only he knows the true significance of Will Turner. Things get a touch complicated when the Black Pearl attacks Port Royal (add an “e” at the end to make it the former colonial capital of Jamaica – intentional or mistake?!?), where Sparrow has just been captured, after saving Elizabeth from certain death by corset suffocation but then taking her hostage. The pirates capture Elizabeth, thinking she is the one they need after she gives them the false name of “Turner”, since she doesn’t want them to know that she’s the Governor’s daughter.) Turner released Sparrow to help him track down the Black Pearl – and then the fun really starts.

The scene is set for a fun romp through the Caribbean, with battles a-plenty, a touch of romance, more than a dash of humour (there are some really priceless one-liners here), and pretty good special effects.

The cast are excellent: Bloom is good and, as in the Lord of the Rings films, his character gets the best stunts. Knightly is in fine form as the feisty femme fatale, and Rush is his normal reliable self with a superbly over-acted villain. But it’s Depp who steal the show here (though like his performance in Chocolat, his accent seems to change scene by scene!), with an eccentric performance reminiscent of Errol Flynn.

The script is good, with lots of humorous dialogue and a plot that bounces along merrily, not quite fast enough that you don’t notice the plot holes in some parts, but quick enough for you to ignore them when you do notice them. There’s lots of action, some a little graphic – it’s not really for young children but there’s nothing really macabre.

Overall this is a really enjoyable movie. It’s fun, fast, and funny. Personally speaking, I was surprised – I wasn’t really expecting much from the movie. But it delivered a lot, and I will definitely watch it again sometime.
(Reviews of the sequels will come to this blog later, but the second is still enjoyable though not as good as the first, while the third is sort of okay but not as good as the second... isn't that so often the way with trilogies?!?)

See Also:

CaptainD's Top Ten Films of 2003

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