Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

After the last film based on a Di$ney ride, The Country Bears, flopped at the Box Office, it might seem surprising that two more have been/are being made. Luckily with a skilled director and stellar cast Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl manages to lift itself much higher than the fore mentioned singing bears.

A young lady, Elizabeth (the gorgeous Keira Knightly) has been fascinated with a young blacksmith called Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). The fascination stems from the fact that Elizabeth and her father Governor Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce) found Will adrift in the Caribbean Ocean many years previous. When she originally found him, Elizabeth, ‘borrowed’ (read ‘stole’) Will’s gold doubloon necklace – a necklace that is much more than it first seems.

One night, a dark, mysterious ship enters Port Royal and before anyone realises what’s going on, the ship unleashes a ferocious attack on the port. This ship, The Black Pearl, is commanded by the legendary pirate Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who with his bloodthirsty crew lay siege to the port with cannons and pillaging. Their real objective is to seize the necklace that originally belonged to Will.

Elizabeth is captured during the raid and The Black Pearl sets off into the night with her and the necklace onboard. Will, desperate to set off after her, tries to enlist the help of her father and her fiancé Captain Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) who have their own plan for rescuing Elizabeth. Will cannot wait for them and decides that the best way to find a pirate is to enlist a pirate – and as luck would have it, languishing in the local jail is none other than Captain Jack Sparrow (played with plenty of gusto by Johnny Depp) – a pirate who’s reputation far precedes him.

Sparrow agrees to help Will and with a crew knocked together of drunkards and cutthroats they set off after the notorious Barbossa and his nefarious crew. 

The plan seems pretty straightforward – Will and Jack chase The Black Pearl, fight off a crew of vicious pirates and rescue Elizabeth. What they didn’t count on is the fact that these are no ordinary pirates that they are dealing with.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is without a doubt one of the most entertaining films of the year – cracking special effects, a rousing cast and enough energy to keep the film moving at a fair old pace. Had producer Jerry Bruckheimer used his regular director chum Michael Bay, the film would have been a mess of over over-patriotic, fast music video style editing. Luckily in the hands of a director as skilled as Gore Verbinski Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl plays very well.

Verbinski has managed to direct some excellent films, each time in completely different genres. Many directors stick to the one genre that they are successful at, but Verbinski has had success with children’s films, horrors and other genres – a sign of a very competent director.

Keira Knightley is very easy on the eye and plays the role of Elizabeth very well. Orlando Bloom shows that he can act in a film that doesn’t require him to wear Elf ears. Even the supporting cast do well; with Jonathan Pryce and Jack Davenport (better known for his TV work) both holding their own. Geoffrey Rush hams it up with some real ‘Shiver me timbers’ lines and his menacing drawl.

Even amongst such a strong cast there is one person who stands head and shoulders above everyone else – Johnny Depp. He steals every scene that he’s in and is highly entertaining to watch, with his swaggering gait and effeminately styled buccaneer. He’s managed to corner all the best line and deliver them with gusto whether he’s fighting a band of cutthroat pirates or just parading in mascara and a bandana (okay that last line sounds alittle gay, but its not meant to be!)

Overall Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is without a doubt one of the most entertaining films of the year so far. It’s very much in the vein of old Douglas Fairbanks films with swashbuckling shenanigans, sword fights, cursed pirates, stolen gold and romance. Speaking of which that his probably the weakest aspect of the film – there is much more chemistry between Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp (in a non-gay manner!) than between Bloom and Knightley.

With some excellent humour, witty one-liners, playful tone and special effects Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is well worth checking out – just remember that dressing up as a pirate is for special occasions only and not for day-to-day life (unless you really are a pirate)

Score 10/10