Pirates of the Caribbean the Curse of the Black Pearl - Pirate Gold

Walt Disney
Duration: 143min
Category: Adventure
Available: On DVD
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When I first saw Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I mean, think about it. Itís a corporate synergy product, put together by a slick but less than artful director cast with the latest ďitĒ young things. But then there was Johnny Depp.

There are infamous tales of how the Disney execs were unhappy with Deppís performance, wondering what the hell he was doing and if they should jettison him for a more bankable action star. An Oscar nomination and hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office later and no one is doubting the character he created called Captain Jack Sparrow.

As I left the cinema that day I was reminded of falling in love with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland when I was 14 and was pleasantly surprised at how good the flick was. It wasnít until later I would appreciate it even more.

Pirates is truly a well made, clever and fun little movie and this goes beyond Deppís performance. Watch it again and itís tight. Each scene is crafted to give us exactly, and no more, than we need. The thrill, the fun, the plot. Itís a smart little plot that manages to throw in references to the ride that inspired it (the dog with the key, the skeletal pirates) that donít feel forced but essential to the story. Itís also got a solid adventure story that is up there with the best of the genre.

Every time I re-watched the film, I am surprised at how much I continue to enjoy it and how well it holds up. I have as much fun watching Pirates as I do Indiana Jones or Flynnís Robin Hood. Itís hard for me to admit that what I expected to be a bit of a throw away, guilty pleasure turned into an enduring adventure story.

A great deal of this has to do with Depp who makes Sparrow such a joy to watch. This genre depends on this kind of a role and Depp delivers. Okay, this film suffers from Orlando Blooms usual bland earnestness but we are supposed to find his annoying (at least I think so) so it doesnít take away from the film.

Then there is Keira Knightley who is such a joy for not only being gorgeous but for being feisty. From the time I was small I always preferred the heroines who jumped into the fray over those who stood by screaming waiting to be saved.

Finally, Geoffrey Rush is a fun villain as Barbossa even if he does have the extra hurdle of being less of a character than Sparrow. Usually, the villain gets all the great lines and scenes but in this one the hero chews the scenery up leaving less for the bad guy to do.

Overall, Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl is a surprisingly enduring, fun film. Letís hope Disney can find gold twice from this franchise.

Review By: Collin Smith

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