Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Pirates of the Carribean began as a theme park ride in the Disney theme parks. Then it expaneded into a series of movies, novels, other publications and a massive multiplayer online role playing games. Generally movies that are created from things like toys, videogames and theme park rides tend to fail as movies. The characters are two dimensional, the plots are simple, the acting is poor and the dialog is bad. Fortunately for Disney, Pirates of the Carribean movies have managed to escape this curse.
The first movie came out in 2003 with the title of Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. First of all, the production qualities were first rate. The ships, the settings, the battles, the costumes were lavish and well done. The plot was complex involving British ships and colonys, rival pirates and supernatural dangers. The characters were interesting and well rounded, the dialog clever and the drama well balanced by humor.
My favorite actor, Johnny Depp, plays the pirate captain, Jack Sparrow, the main character in the movie. He is a very complicated character. When I first saw his character on the screen, in a crows nest at the top of a mast, in I shouted, “I’ll take two!!” and promptly fell in love with Johnny/Jack. He based his character partly on Kieth Richards and it is just hilarious. He is very unpredictable. Just when you expect him to do something heroic, he does something cowardly. Just when you expect him to run away, he does something brave. He is one of those lovable rogues so poplar in novels and movies. His loses his ship, regains his ship, battles ghosts, British troops and other pirates as he searches for treasure.
Orlando Bloom plays Will Turner, a blacksmith, who gets caught up in the battle between the colonial governor of a Carribean island and the pirates who attack British ships. He is the “average” man, the innocent in over his head that is another popular character type in movies and novels. Throught the movie, he grows in confidence and capability as he is challeged by danger and violence.
Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth Swann, the head strong and beautiful daughter of the colonial governor played by Jonathan Pryce. Both are well cast and attack their roles with great relish. Keira and Bloom have good chemistry and make a good team. Pryce is arrogant, snobbish and determined to have Jack Sparrow’s head.
Geoffrey Rush is great as Jack’s nemisis, the pirate Barbarosa. He and his crew are cursed to continue existing, neither alive or dead, until a blood sacrifice is made. He is after the same treasure as Jack and is a deadly opponent.
Whether or not you are a fan of pirate movies, I think that you will enjoy the Curse of the Black Pearl (even if you don’t love Johnny as much as I do!)