Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Sign Aboard This One, Matey!

Main Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley

Director: Gore Verbinski

black pearlJohnny Depp has the amazing ability to carve out his own little world in the middle of whatever project with which he happens to associate. Take Captain Jack Sparrow, the pirate he plays in this movie. He not only wears the role like a cloak, but gets under the skin and raises the man to one of the most unique personalities in movie history. Half-mincing, half-drunk, Sparrow wanders bemused through most of the film, somehow hitting all his marks and escaping cruel fates.

Those fates can be summed up in a rather goofy but enjoyable plot: Captain Sparrow was once the captain of the Black Pearl, but was stranded on a deserted island by Barbossa (Rush), who led the mutiny. Later, the mutineers were cursed for stealing a wondrous treasure and doomed to walk forever as undead until every single piece of it was returned. A flashback in the beginning of the movie explains that the last piece is now in the hands of Elizabeth Swann (Knightley), daughter of the governor, who took it from a young boy they had rescued at sea. This boy grew up to become Will Turner (Bloom), who secretly loves her, but she seems destined to marry Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport). Anyone who believes that she will end up with the wrong man at the end are in for a cruel disappointment.

But truly the plot isn’t the point. The action sequences and the very setting itself are. And in this, the movie delivers. The crew of the Black Pearl seem scruffy by day, but when the moon rises they take on their true, horrifying appearances. There is much swordplay, cannon blasts between ships, swinging from yardarms, beautiful pans across tropical paradises, and yo-ho-ho and bottles of rum.

It is romping good fun, and the cast seems to have had a blast with this, led by Depp. If nothing else, his performance is worth the price of admission.

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