Old Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to come out in the past few years, this one, The Curse of the Black Pearl, is by far the best. The next two in the series are decent, but by the time movie four comes around, it’s beginning to lose its luster. Anyway, this one was a creative imagining of the adventures of the pirate ship The Black Pearl. It is based on a ride of the same name in a Disney theme park. And I have to say, considering such humble origins, it is a remarkable tale (then again, it’s got Disney behind it). It stars Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom as the blacksmith turned pirate, William Turner, and Kiera Knightley (I think that’s her name) as the governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann.
It’s a tale of swashbuckling pirates, cursed treasure, and cursed men. William Turner and Elizabeth Swann provide the romantic element to the story. There’s a bit of a clever preamble introducing the main characters and some of the tensions before the real action begins. Then, the Black Pearl, captained by Captain Balboza, lays siege to Port Royale (I think) the town where Elizabeth and William live. In her attempt to negotiate a cease-fire with the pirates, Elizabeth is captured and taken away with the Pearl. Shortly thereafter, William Turner, dissatisfied with the rescue efforts of the military under the command of Captain Norrington (another significant character), throws his lot in with Captain Jack Sparrow and sets off to rescue Elizabeth on his own. The adventures that follow are the stuff of legend and love.
There’s a great deal of lighthearted fun and comedy in this movie. Captain Jack Sparrow in particular provides a great deal of humor. Overall, there’s very little to complain about. The pacing is perfect. The humor is clean. The action is exciting. And the special effects are well-done. I’ve seen the movie a dozen or so times (I own it now), and normally, after so many viewings of a movie, I can usually pick out one or two logical flaws in the flow of the story. Not this one (at least, not off the top of my head). Everything fits together and flows very well. No glaring contradictions, and no gaping holes in the story line.
Anyway, I’ll give “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” four and half out of five stars. It might even be worth five stars, but I’ve seen it so many times it no longer holds any surprises, so that might be what’s holding me back.