Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates, you either love them or they bore you silly and I personally am a big fan. I considered it as a career option for a brief period before coming to the realisation that I had none of the qualifications (no parrot, no physical impairment e.g. a wooden leg or patched eye, and an inability to say ‘oooh ahhh’ convincingly).
I have however read Treasure Island too many times, I have been drunk on Rum, I have been to the Caribbean and I have even been on the Disney ride ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ from which this film takes its inspiration and name. Suffice to say I have been looking forward to seeing this film for a while.
In recent years it has been the Lucasarts computer game series ‘The Secret of Monkey Island’ that has captured my pirating imagination. It has adventure, romance, amazing locations, a great story, ghost pirates and lots of humour - All these things this film has too and I loved it!
The story is quite cool, dastardly Pirates need the blood of an old shipmate and an ancient doubloon to lift a curse that has rendered them the undead, but the old shipmate is at the bottom of Davey Jones’ locker so his next of kin will do...There governors beautiful daughter (Keira Knightley) is kidnapped (aren’t they always - they should put homing devices in their corsets) and she needs to be rescued, up step smitten blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and an unorthodox Pirate with a weird cockney accent and bizarre hand gestures (Johnny Depp).
The action all takes place in the steamy Caribbean and the locations look wonderful, all dark and foreboding, but you know it’s hot as hell. The Governors Island looks great as do all the ships but the best scene for me was when we see the ghost pirates marching along the bottom of the ocean armed to the teeth.
The performances are all good but the clear star of the film is Johnny Depp and it is his bizarre interpretation of what a pirate should be that makes it such fun to watch. Depp plays the notorious Pirate ‘Captain’ Jack Sparrow, with thick black eyeliner, darkened skin, gold teeth and dreadlocks he certainly looks the part. He brings most of the humour to the film as he is a bit unlucky and accident prone so we see some slapstick, but it is his gestures and little muttered remarks that are really hilarious.
This guy Jack Sparrow isn’t much like a pirate, he is very camp and too young and pretty to have done all the things he is supposed to have (we are supposed to believe the Geoffrey Rush character was HIS first mate!) but he is believable, the audience in the cinema I watched in laughed at almost everything he did!
Geoffrey Rush was very good as scoundrel Barbosa, the captain of the ‘Black Pearl’ he had the physical stature in his big coat and hat and had the pirate accent down pat. British fans of the TV comedy ‘The Office’ will be also pleased to see Gareth as one of the evil pirates complete with comedy wooden eye.
If I were to pick up on film weaknesses I would say that it is a bit too long. Also I think much more could have been done with the soundtrack, there were no ‘Yo ho ho-ing’ songs, and I detected no calypso steal drum music which would have been perfect.
I recommend the film to anyone that wants a good time film with lots of humour and plenty of swashbuckling.