US Release Date: 07-09-2003
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
- Johnny Depp, as
- Jack Sparrow
- Geoffrey Rush, as
- Orlando Bloom, as
- Will Turner
- Keira Knightley, as
- Elizabeth Swann
- Jack Davenport, as
- Jonathan Pryce, as
- Governor Weatherby Swann
- Lee Arenberg, as
- Zoe Saldana, as
- Angus Barnett as
Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl is the most fun I have had at the movies since A Knight's Tale. It is an adventurous fun frolic. It is a swashbuckling old school movie with state of the art special effects.
Will Turner, a black smith, and Jack Sparrow, a pirate, team up to rescue Turner's lady love Elizabeth. She has been captured by pirates and is aboard the legendary ship; The Black Pearl. Sparrow is the ship's former captain and his intentions have more to do with reclaiming the ship than rescuing a damsel.
Orlando Bloom looks like Errol Flynn here. His natural brown hair color and sword play make him a near dead ringer for the former matinee idol. Bloom seems very comfortable in costume movies.
Johnny Depp first became famous on televisions '21 Jump Street'. Since then he has done everything possible to break from his pretty boy image that first got him attention. He was buried under tons of makeup for Edward Scissor Hands, and utterly serious in Sleepy Hollow.
As Jack Sparrow, he has found his most humorous character. He steals the movie completely. From his hilarious arrival, to the camera fading on his face, Depp charms and entertains like no other role of his career. A British officer says that Sparrow is 'the worst pirate I have ever heard of.' 'Ah.' replies Jack. 'But you have heard of me.'
Besides being a humorous, adventure story, this movie also has a touch of the supernatural. The pirates are revealed to be zombies when they are in the moonlight. The effect of the changing pirates from flesh to skeletons as they walk in and out of the moonlight is awesome.
The one and only complaint I can make about this movie is that it is 2 hours and 20 minutes long. The final 10 minute scene should have been cut out. Sure it resolves an issue, but the writers could have had these things settled in an earlier scene. Still, as actioned packed as this movie is, you may not realize it is such a long movie.
Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Like Eric, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. This is easily the best pirate movie to come out of Hollywood in decades, thanks to its charming mix of silliness, romance, adventure and thrills. And the cast does a great job of playing up the humor while taking the adventure aspect of the movie seriously.
Visually this movie is a colorful, spot-on montage of all the clichés we associate with the pirate myth. A swashbuckling hero, a damsel in distress, a flamboyant pirate, incredibly ugly villains, sword fighting skeletons, pompous British sailors, an Aztec curse, a mischievous spider monkey, a talking parrot, buried treasure, beautiful lagoons and pristine beaches shaded by picture perfect palm trees.
Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom make like a classic movie duo. Bloom playing the Bing Crosby/Dean Martin (only without the singing) to Depp's Bob Hope/Jerry Lewis. Throw in the beautiful Keira Knightley (who does as much of the rescuing as the men do) and Geoffrey Rush in full tilt villain mode and you have all the ingredients for a satisfying movie salad that won't fill you up or pack on any unwanted calories. The wonderful special effects provide the dressing on top.
So many reviews have mentioned the length of this movie that I found myself anticipating a long drawn-out ending. Instead the time seemed to fly by and I disagree with Eric that the final scene should have been cut out. In fact I found it to be an entirely satisfying ending to a memorable and highly entertaining movie.
The only negative thing about Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is its cumbersome title. And just for the record, I enjoyed it much more than I enjoyed A Knight's Tale.
Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
I have to agree with Eric on this one. In fact he stole my line, because halfway through this movie I was thinking how for sheer fun, this was the best since A Knight's Tale. In terms of lighthearted entertainment, Pirates of the Caribbean wins best picture of 2003, hands down.
Perhaps it was because I watched this movie on DVD, and was thus able to pause it when I wanted, that I, like Patrick, didn't find it to be overly long at all. I enjoyed every bit of it, including the final ten minutes.
One small thing of note, which my brothers failed to mention, probably because neither of them are such fans of Britcoms as I am, was the inclusion of Jack Davenport as the British Captain Norrington and Mackenzie Crook as the Zombie Pirate with the wooden eye. Fans of the British Coupling will recognize Davenport as Steve and anyone who has seen the brilliant comedy The Office will recognize Crook as the detestable Gareth. Although their characters here bear very little resemblance to their television alter egos, it was still a pleasant surprise to see them.
Somehow, I'd missed Pirates when it came out in the theaters and now I'm very glad that I did. Having waited until December to see it, right in the middle of all the heavy Oscar contenders, it came as a relief to watch something that wasn't trying to do anything other than entertain its audience. At times, it feels as though Hollywood thinks there's something wrong with just entertaining, but as the box office showed, audiences don't agree. Sometimes that's all we want. We don't need a message in every film. Sometimes we just want a few hours of quality escapism, which is exactly what this movie provides.
Photos © Copyright Buena Vista (2003)