The Pirates! Band of Misfits (Or The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists in the UK) is the newest Claymation film from Aardman Animations. It based on a series of books by Gideon Defoe, a series that wasn't exactly meant for kids (One book has the pirates team up with Karl Marx). It follows the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) as he tries to get the Pirate of the Year award with the help of his crew. Along the way, he meets Charles Darwin (David Tennant) and his chimp helper Mr. Bobo and faces off with Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton). Martin Freeman, Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven round out the rest of the cast.
Going into this movie, my hopes were high due to the fact that Aardman usually tends to hit it out of the park with their films, especially with Wallace and Gromit and the trailers all looked good. Upon leaving the theaters, I can safely say that the feeling I was leaving with was disappointment.
|She's not fat. She's just not the right species.|
However, this movie still is Aardman's weakest one yet. For the most part, the falls mostly on the shoulders of the plot. The film explores very little new territory and as a result, it is hard to get invested in what is going on on-screen. Audience members that have seen at least four childrens movie will be able to see the twist and turns the film takes and the messages it wants to say before the film wants you to know them. Plus, the humor is here, but it's not in the droves that is usually is in Aardman movies. Most of the laughs come from the subtler parts of the animation and the background gags mentioned earlier, but most gags are nothing that haven't been done before.
|A bike-powered flying machine. Surprised it didn't catch on.|