Young, old; male, female, athlete, couch potato;body-builder, beginner:
"Pirates of the Caribbean: |
The Curse of the Black Pearl"
Those whose blood hankers for adventures on the high seas in days of yore, ahoy. Yer timbers are about to get shivered, yer sails hoisted, yer plank walked. It's all here, with swagger and panache and a little of the supernatural thrown in. For what's a pirate without a curse?
Against the odds of surviving certain death on a remote island, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has lived to tell the tale and seek his revenge against the man who abandoned him there, villainous pirate Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).
As Jack sets foot in Port Royal, hiding his identity, swordsmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is seeking the love of the beauteous and highly born Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). But her father, the cowardly governor (Jonathan Pryce), would rather see her lashed to the mast than in the arms of such a common type as Turner. The fact that Turner saved the girl from certain death in the depths, and gave her a mysterious gold amulet, does nothing to elevate his prospects... except that Elizabeth does harbor feelings for the lad.
When Jack Sparrow's identity is discovered by that military climber Norrington (Jack Davenport), who is the governor's choice for son-in-law, a chase brings Sparrow into good Will Turner's sword shop and into a swinging good duel, ending with the two bonding in order to rescue Elizabeth, who has just been captured by the villainous Barbossa and his band of Zombie Pirates holding her captive aboard their cursed ship, the Black Pearl. They seek the gold amulet that will end their curse and their otherwordly powers.
Director Gore Verbinski and his team of writers headed by Ted Elliott have constructed a treasure chest of high enterprise from the concept behind a Disneyland ride. They've done so rousing a job in reviving a lost genre that it has all the Hollywood nay-sayers, who expected it to sink, panting in its wake. That's creative piloting for you. To those who don't recognize that they pulled it off with apt flamboyance, have a shot of rum!
Though Johnny Depp doesn't get the girl, he rules the roost... and the mainsails, the bilges, the seas, all hands on deck and all challenges on land. While he effects a slurry speech that makes him seem high on an undisclosed organic substance, (he claims to have based his character's style on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards), he doesn't quite take it beyond rascally good fun and an entertainment level Disney can bank on.
All mates aboard fully support the well designed voyage. Orlando Bloom brings his understated heroic charisma to the piece, consistent with his magnetic presence in "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers". No wonder the ladies are going nuts. Keira Knightly enchants us with her totally spunky parent-defying audacity in a career-making roll following the promise of her recent outing in "Bend it Like Beckham". Geoffrey Rush earns a medal of merit for chaining his larger than life Barbossa to credible limits of hissable evil conduct.
The sweeping and exquisitely toned camera work is the product of ace cinematographer Dariusz Wolski who so nightmarishly rendered a moody, futurescape favorite of mine, "Dark City." Special effects are excellent with the skeleton animation particularly outstanding. Kudos to the CG team!
After this energetic transition to film, the ride at Disney will probably become standing room only for us landlubbers. Well deserved, mateys.
The Soundtrack album