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17 May 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Review


My Rating: 90%
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Screenplay by: Ted Elliot & Terry Rossio
Starring: (Shows in poster)
Genre: Action, comedy, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama
Runtime: 143 Minutes

Hop on board for a voyage that was relatively new at the time, and still remains fresh. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and the rest of the great cast did an excellent job, giving refreshing and believable performances. The film is full of great action sequences, amazing soundtrack and a complex, but enjoyable story. For those that didn’t know, Pirates of the Caribbean was first a ride at Disney Land. I have been on it twice and believe me, there isn't much similarity. But the inspiration is clearly from it.  It’s the start of the multibillion film franchise and an exciting one of the lot.

Our film begins with young Will turner (Orlando Bloom) whose ship was destroyed, (an explanation later discovered), and young Miss Elizabeth Swan (Keira Nightly) spotting him at sea as she is on a royal ship. They bring the boy on the ship and Miss Swan discovers the piece of gold around his neck she takes it in case he’s a pirate. Where does the excitement begin? Next we meet our charismatic, always tipsy and jokey Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), truly one of Depp’s more extraordinary roles. Well our Sparrow makes his entry to Port Royal and eventually rescues Miss Swan after she falls into the ocean because of her corset being too tight causing her to have trouble breathing. Jack gets up on the wharf and is arrested, and hang, (Nice way to thank a guy). But, Jack makes a well-co-ordinated escape and actually ends up caught again. So Jack sits in his cell and all of a sudden. Black sails and firing cannons hit Port Royal, non-other than The Black Pearl, the very boat that ‘belongs to Jack sparrow’. The pirates’ captain, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is looking for the final piece of Aztec Gold, the very piece Will Turner had round his neck the day he was rescued. They kidnap Miss Swan as she disguise’s her name as Miss Turner. Jack wants the Black Pearl, Barbossa wants his freedom, Will turner wants Miss Swan back, from there onwards the plot get complex, confusing, but if you keep up the story will be very enjoyable.
Jack on his getaway by making Miss Swan his hostage for the moment.

I have to say I must give credit to the screenwriters. The story gets complex, but it can still be caught up with. There is no real central character to the story other than Jack Sparrow. No one knows whose side he’s on, but he drives the plot doing this and that. There are loads of characters involved in the story which adds to the complexity, but most of the characters have great personality, which shows they aren’t just filler characters. The thing I find more impressive is how the first three films are connected, and it’s clear the rest of the back story was written. With mentioning’s of Will turners father ‘Boot-strap Bill’ who soon appears in the next film. ‘Davy Jones’ is mentioned who also appears in the next films. The Pirate of the Caribbean series is very exciting, and this was a great start to the series.

Characters:

Jack Sparrow: When the name says Sparrow, I can see what they were going for, because Jack always gets out of situations, he just ‘flies’ away. He is an eccentric and jokey character and really doesn’t take things that seriously, but he is the mastermind of the story almost. Although, the character doesn’t have any drama approach to it which just makes him the joker of the series. Still, he is a great character played wonderfully by Depp.


Will Turner: Will turner, a pirate by blood but brought up a blacksmith. He tags alongside Jack to get Miss Swan back and along the way he becomes morn d more like a pirate. There’s something about Orlando Bloom’s expression that makes him look confused. If you have seen Lord of the Rings in the scene when he says "They've taken the hobbits to Isengard" he looks confused. Hard to explain what I mean so take a look at the pictures below.
Orlando Bloom as Legolas from the LOTR series.
















Captain Barbossa: You better start getting used to this guy, because he’s in all four of the films at the moment. Geoffrey Rush did a good job as the eccentric ghost captain. He is on a quest to retrieve life, but soon the tables turn.
Barbossa with his pet monkey called 'Jack'.

Elizabeth Swan: thank god she isn’t a typical damsel in distress. Miss San, played by Keira Knightly is a strong female character in the film who is kidnapped, rescued and she fights for herself let’s not forget. Miss Swan is an excellent character of the Pirates series.

Like I said, most of the cast are great in the film, this is a few of the main characters but I won’t go berserk just going on about how great (or bad) all the characters are.

This film has the best soundtrack of its year for sure, next to probably LOTR: Return of the King. The music was created by Klaus Badelt and the almighty Hans Zimmer; you may know him from composing music for films such as The Lion King and even The Dark Knight. I love the main theme of the film and its one of my favourites. Excellent music throughout so thumps up to Zimmer!

2003 is still the early stages of high quality CGI things in film I would consider, but it was very well executed in this. The ghost pirates looked scary and original, and the overall style of the film was great. The editing was great too, like most action films have, but was executed well. Let’s not forget the great stunts and running about. Towards the end of the film there is an exciting action sequence when Will and Jack are trying to escape and they team up together, taking out guard by guard. There are some great action and overall visual goodies to see here.

I’m sure most people predicted more Pirates films to come after this one, but it would be three years before the sequel would arrive. As you know, ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ and ‘At World’s End’ where filmed around the same time, so impressively these high budget lengthy films came out one year between; 2006 for Dead Man’s Chest, and 2007 for At World’s End. I think the series isn’t very much liked because of how it just keeps going on, with the release of the fourth one soon, but I enjoy the film series and it has great, character, music and story depth to it. Overall Pirates of the Caribbean 1 is an excellent entry into the mythical world of Pirates that has great elements from music to special effects. I will just about give this one a 90% because of its impressive writing and gripping characters.


Overall: 9/10
 


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