Friday, May 26, 2017

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

The first pirate movie to be based off the Disney ride tells the tale of cursed pirates, a crafty sea captain, and a young couple. As a young girl, Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) finds a young William Turner (Orlando Bloom) in the ocean with a gold coin around his neck. In the present, since Elizabeth is the daughter of the Governor of Port Royal Weatherby Swann (Jonathan Pryce)  she is promised to marry Norrington (Jack Davenport) but Will Turner hopes to woo her. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) arrives in Port Royal tries to steal a ship from the British Navy but is caught by two guards. He has to save Ms. Swann when she faints off a cliff into the ocean from the effects of a corset.

Sparrow attempts to escape but in a fight with Will Turner he is caught and imprisoned. As Jack wallows in prison, the Black Pearl arrives with its deadly pirate crew captained by Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). The pirates are in search of the gold coin Elizabeth possesses but when she claims "parlay", the pirates bring her aboard and kidnap her. Will Turner, determined to save Elizabeth, frees Jack Sparrow, and the two men steal a ship and head to Tortuga. Jack assembles a crew including Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally) and Anamaria (Zoe Saldana). 

It is revealed to Elizabeth that Barbossa and his crew are undead from a curse when they stole the gold from a treasure chest. They hope to take this final piece back to the island where they were cursed to return the gold and end the curse. The pirates believe that Elizabeth is the descendant of another of their crew named Bootstrap Bill but it turns out the true descendant is Will Turner. They need Will's blood to end the curse so they work to capture him as Jack and his crew fight back. Jack ends up stranded on an island with Elizabeth who calls the British Navy to help her save Will.

The Navy takes on the undead pirates as Jack Sparrow comes up with a plan to stay alive and save Will. There is an epic pirate battle with sword fights and special effects. I remember being impressed with this undead pirate back in 2003 but they have improved the quality since then to make it noticeable here. Still, the action is a lot of fun and caps of a solid pirate action film. The story resolves with the men returned to mortals and captured by the Navy as well as Jack Sparrow. Will Turner turns pirate helping Jack escape and finally winning the affection of Elizabeth.

Pirate of the Caribbean kicked off an epic series of outrageous pirate mayhem with a strong fantasy element directed by Gore Verbinski. The curses, ship battles, and swordfights provide the action but Depp's Sparrow provides the humor and brilliant acting to make an iconic character. Bloom's Turner and Knightley's Swann bring the romance that centers the entire original trilogy. With a solid supporting cast, this film has everything going for it to make it a fun two hours. 

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