A Blacksmith, a Pirate, and a Lovely Lass

by Alan Rapp on July 6, 2006

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  • IMDB: link

pirates-curse-of-the-black-pearl-posterA movie about pirates AND it was based off a amusement park ride?  With two strikes like that against it there should be no way Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is this good.  But it is!

Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) washed up onto a ship as a boy, rescued by Governor Wetherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce) and the royal navy.  Now Will is an assistant blacksmith who is in love with the Governer’s daughter Elizabeth (Keira Knightly), who fancies him as well, but due to social customs is unable to admit his feelings.

Into our story comes the very odd Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) a pirate without a ship whose arrival begins a series of events that leads to his imprisonment, Elizabeth’s kidnapping, and the discovery of a dark curse aboard Cap’n Jack’s former ship the Black Pearl.

This movie is a pleasant surprise.  We get big action scenes, sword fights, sea battles, explosions, skeleton warriors, an undead monkey, and piles upon piles of the hidden Aztec gold.  Each are first rate and the camera pulls back and allows you to see the action rather than quick-cut shots so common in today’s action films.

The action scenes and special effects are terrific, but the heart of the film is the characters and the performances by the three leads.  Orlando Bloom has made a career of noble heroes from centuries past in love with women above his station and once again here he shines.  Knightly is perfect as the strong but emotionally vulnerable Miss Swann.  This role, justly, made her a star.

And then there’s Depp who is doing a wonderful job as the eccentric pirate (Depp admits the character is based in no small part to an impersonation of Keith Richards).  Sparrow comes off goofy, charming but dumb, and crazy to those who don’t take him seriously, but at the same time outsmarts and outwits everyone turning situations to his advantage.

This is a tremendously fun, exciting, and enjoyable film that balances the action with a distinct humor and terrific performances.  Though it’s length (143 minutes) may be a deterrent for some I would be hard pressed to cut moments out of this slowly building and terrifically paced film that by the end seems to short rather than too long.  It’s one of those rare films that you enjoy more with each viewing; go grab yourself a DVD today!!

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