Yeah, yeah, yeah! That's what I thought too... until I saw they bagged both Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush! Not to mention the Director of The Ring, Gore Verbinski! And it didn't hurt that this particular ride is possibly the coolest in Disney History. Just about every guy who has ridden "Pirates of the Carribean" has thought, man, this would make one great movie, man! I'm one of them! And we were all right! This is probably the most fun movie of the whole summer (just about tied with LXG)!
Was a great action movie with intelligence, wit, and good actors too much to ask? Clearly not, as Disney (of all companies) has delivered just that! This is a swashbuckling, rip-roaring riotous assault in the senses with more fun and laughter than you're likely to find in just about any movie! Yeah, it's the sum of its parts, but its parts are very good. Johnny Depp doesn't find himself at the mast of a top-heavy film with only him to rely on! Instead, almost universally you find good actors here to grace the good script and the good directing. It's a good film... choke on it... I'll be at Disneyland... it worked, sue me!
The plot centers around a pair of unlikely lovers in the form of Orlando Bloom (Legolas from Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings adaptations) and the mind-shakingly hot Keira Knightley (if you think she looks like Natalie Portman, you're not alone... George Lucas thought so too)! The lovers meet as kids and watch each other from afar for most of their lives, propriety preventing a union, much like the secret love we all know that Tom Daschle and Dick Armey secretly harbor... but I digress! When Knightley's character Elizabeth Swann first meets Bloom's Will Turner she sees an Aztec designed medallion about his neck which reminds her of the pirate mythology she has come to know, so she steals it and spirits it away, never knowing it might have more significance than she thinks!
Though these two are two of the main movers of the plot, it is without question Johnny Depp's movie. Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, a homosexual pirate, down on his luck, rides into the same town that Will and Elizabeth live in on a rapidly sinking skiff! Soon after his arrival, a ship called The Black Pearl, a sort of legendary Flying Dutchman from Hell, arrives to rape, pillage and burn, not to mention find all the Aztec Gold the crew scattered around which led to their demonic curse causing them to literally exist as the walking dead, led by the maniac captain Barbossa!
Geoffrey Rush is a perfect pirate. Funny at the right times, scary at the right times... and Orlando Bloom has the makings of a great actor. Knightley is not only beautiful but plays her part very well. As do the supporting characters, such as Jack's Crew (featuring the almost equally yummers Zoe Saldana)! I've long been a fan of old Jonathan Pryce in his roles as a brave, yet conflicted character of complexity in Brazil, Tomorrow Never Dies... those... Infinity commercials! Here he plays an aging, sniveling man who is pretty funny in his attempts to raise his daughter and survive disembodied arms fighting with him in his cabins.
There are a few nods to the Disney ride, fans of which should giggle with the recognition of these. The film doesn't rely on these little things though, so you who have never been to Orlando or to Anaheim won't be negatively affected. The scenes are clever with or without precedent! There is one truly terrifying scene (at least to me) that takes place on a desert island (there is nothing funny about the mass torching of Spiced Island Rum)! There is also a bit of a curiosity to the method of breaking The Curse of the Black Pearl. Apparently this involves the shedding of the blood of a certain character deceased before the events of this film... but why this is doesn't seem to ever be explained... if I missed it please, tell me why!
There really isn't anything to complain about in this film! It's a heck of a lot of fun, and well worth the ticket price. Therefore, I'm giving it a rare Four and One Half Stars! I'm glad the Pirate Movie is back... I just wish Cutthroat Island hadn't gotten such a bum wrap! So... why not the full five stars for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl? Well... it's not quite Citizen Kane!
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