Pirates of The Caribbean: Curse of The Black Pearl

8 out of 10


Adult-Oriented Disney

Set in the Caribbean as the title suggests, the film begins on board a ship sailing from England, which comes upon the wreckage of another vessel and its lone survivor- a young boy named Will Turner. With the rest of the crew on the watch for pirates, Will is left to the care of an equally young Elizabeth Swan, the daughter of a local governor whom he is immediately smitten with. Years later, a rather older Will Turner, having become a talented but unappreciated blacksmith and played by Orlando Bloom, still holds his love for Elizabeth, who is now played by Keira Knightley, but is unable to express it. When Elizabeth is rescued and then threatened by the notorious- and notoriously ineffectual- pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who then takes refuge from pursuing soldiery in Will's smithy, will is instrumental in his capture. However, on the night before Jack is to be hanged, the city is attacked by murderous pirates in a mysterious ship called the Black Pearl. With Elizabeth taken prisoner, and the military unwilling to help, Will finds he has no choice but to join forces with the pirate captain in a desperate bid to save her. With a stolen warship crewed by misfits, Will and Jack set out for what Jack is certain to be the Pearl's destination- an island that cannot be found, except by those who already know where it is.

More adult-oriented than most of Disney's films, it still manages to maintain a light tone by not taking itself too seriously. If it had been made as a 'serious' movie with the same premise, it would have been very easy for it to turn into a real horror flick. It does have some scarier moments- it's about animate skeletons after all- as well as a good deal of swordplay. Not for the very young, but slightly older children, as well as the child in us all, will enjoy this swashbuckling adventure.

I think that Will is intended to be seen as the hero of the story, but from the start Johnny Depp steals the show. The name of Jack Sparrow may not be one to inspire a great deal of terror, but his antic overconfidence infuses the film with a lightness and humor which are part of what makes this film one of the best I have seen in a long time. There are far too few films of this caliber being made these days.

A rare film of this calibre

Film Critic: Bronwynn Erskine