Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Ultimate Disney List 2: "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl"

"This is either madness... or brilliance."

Based on a True Theme Park Ride

      The Disney list continues onward as we look at arguably Disney's most famous live-action film of 2000s. Yes, the one based on their theme park ride. Released back in 2001, Black Pearl was directed by Gore Verbinski (The Lone Ranger) and was written by Ted Elliott (Shrek) and Terry Rossio (Aladdin). The plot follows honest blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as he teams up with the pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to rescue the kidnapped Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) from the villainous pirate Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Along the way, they encounter undead pirates, righteous lawmen and a cursed treasure. Or my average Wednesday night.

Banana gun. All the rage back then.
Sins of the Sequels

     I think I was among the group of people that were completely sick of this series. I'll get to all of them, but man did they take a turn for the worse. To the point were I honestly did honestly forget how good this first movie was. Sure, it's not the greatest movie ever, but for a Disney movie based on a theme park ride about pirates featuring Johnny Depp dressed in a silly costume, it was pretty damn good. While not the masterpiece many people made it out to be, this is a really, really fun movie. It just goes to show that you really can make a good movie out of anything. Depp is great as Jack Sparrow. It's not surprising he was such a hit character. He's great fun to watch and a lot of that comes from the fact that you never quite know if he's a threat or an actual friend to Will. And all the while he gets a lot of laughs. But it's not just the Jack Sparrow show...

Those Other Characters

      Will and Elizabeth are actually characters in this one! Knightley was always great in this film. She could've just played Elizabeth as a damsel in distress, but instead, she's a more active character, though in a bad situation. And Bloom is believable as Will, who does seem like he'd do anything to get Elizabeth back. Rush plays a great villain in this one and is a fun foil for Depp, as is most of the supporting players. And the action truly is swashbuckling. The scene in the blacksmith's alone is great, but there are plenty more great action scenes to go along with it. If I did have to complain (Which I do), I would say that the story is pretty weak. It's fun and keeps the film moving, but only if you don't think about it that hard and so much of it revolves around coincidences that it does get a fair bit ridiculous. But still, it's a really fun movie, so I'll forgive some ludicrousness.

Happy Halloween!
The Verdict

      Black Pearl might not be the action masterpiece many think it is, nor did it deserve all the sequels it got. But that said, the film is great fun. A strong, fun cast of actors and characters with some great actions and production to add to the fun. A weak story does hold the film back a little, but it's still a fun story worth seeing again and again. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl gets 5 and a half stars out of 6.

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