July 31, 2003

Pirates of the Caribbean

It's been nearly a week since I watched Pirates of the Caribbean in the theater, I only hope that I can remember enough of it to write an effective review. Well if I don't maybe Andrew can help me fill in some of the gaps. This film is actually based on a theme park ride. Usually it's the other way around; almost anyone on the street can recall a theme park ride that was based on a movie. While at the theater I happened to see a preview for The Haunted Mansion which looked like it may be another ride-gone-movie-plot. I guess the well at Disney has about run dry...

In the opening sequence we see a little girl at the prow of a ship who is singing a pirate song. Other occupants of of the vessel discourage her from doing this, but she secretly wishes to know more about pirates. She spies a boy about her age floating on a piece of wreckage. He is immediately pulled on deck and the girl is charged with looking after him. He has a coin on a chain fastened around his neck. It appears like it should belong to a pirate and so she takes and conceals it from the rest of the crew. In the next scene we encounter the once little girl as young woman. Her name is Elizabeth Swann. Her father happens to be the governor of the little sea port where they reside. Her father has bought Elizabeth a lovely dress. He brings it to her room and announces himself. She scrambles to hide the medallion, which was sitting in a dusty drawer prior to her pulling it out to admire, around her neck and under her nightgown. The fit of the newly acquired dress requires that she wear a corset cinched up so tightly that her breathing is constricted. Garbed in the new fancy attire she goes out on an overlook with the commodore, a man who hopes to eventually woo and wed Elizabeth. He pops the question and she hyperventilates and drops off into the water.

We see a pirate riding aboard a sinking ship. He is greeted by fellow pirates dangling from their neck bones, long since dead. Just as the mast goes underwater he steps off it onto a dock. He proceeds to slip past two men guarding a ship moored offshore when their attention slips. The pirate has already confiscated the ship when he notices Elizabeth falling from the sky. When he determined that neither of the guards can help her, he hands over his things and dives right into the water. He successfully withdraws Elizabeth. Despite having preserved his love's life, the commodore wants to hang the pirate, who we now know is the captain Jack Sparrow. While Elizabeth defends his life, he takes her hostage. He holds onto her long enough to get safely away.

Jack runs into a blacksmith's shop, he finds someone who he presumes to be the blacksmith himself, and determines that he is out like a rock. While he splits the chain that connects his manacles together the real blacksmith returns, whose name is Will Turner. They duel and Jack is taken back into custody. This time he's not so lucky and gets locked up in a cell. There's some other pirates in the prison with him, awaiting their turn to be hanged. They try to escape, by bribing the mutt who keeps the keys, with a bare bone. They get out soon enough anyway.

Some pirates from a ship called the Black Pearl land on the port and during the ensuing battle with the inhabitants a hole is blown into the cell that all the other pirates are in. The invading pirates search for the coin Elizabeth had out and on her person earlier. When they meet up with her they can sense that she has it. She lies to them about her last name and gives the blacksmith's surname (Turner) instead. She only did that so they wouldn't know who her father is. They kidnap, well not precisely kidnap, her and return to their ship. In exchange for giving them back their medallion she asks the captain that they leave the port and not do any more damage. They both agree to the discussed terms, but they did not cover what was to come of Elizabeth herself and consequently she had to stay aboard.

Back onshore it quickly becomes apparent that not only does the commodore have strong feelings for Elizabeth, but so does the blacksmith, Will. They have wildly different ideas of how to rescue the woman they love from the pirates' grasp. Will teams up with Jack Sparrow and together the two swipe the ship that the pirate had in mind to earlier. We learn more along the way, such things as the reason why the pirates of the Black Pearl are so keen on getting all of the gold coins back in their possession and what Will's father has to do with anything at all.

I thought this was a very entertaining movie. Johnny Depp was perfect for the role of Jack Sparrow. I laughed quite a bit along with the rest of the theater's occupants. I can't wait to add this one to our collection of DVDs.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 06:42 PM