Shiny Shelf

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

By Stephen Lavington on 17 November 2003

WARNING! Contains spoilers!

PotC:tCotBP (for brevity) storms across the cinema screen with the bombast, arrogance and total lack of self awareness that one should expect from a film based on a theme park attraction. It’s superficial, vacuous and more fun than is probably legal.

PotC is at once a rip-roaring swashbuckler (though one not quite as polished as ‘The Mask of Zorro’), a low-cal zombie film and one of the funniest comedies this year. Casting is impeccable, with Johnny Depp dusting off his rather odd approximation of the English accent and swaggering around the set with all the louche lethargy of Keith Richards. Keira Knightly does stately, Orlando Bloom does earnest and Geoffrey Rush does decomposed while Gore Verbinski (from ‘Mousehunt’) keeps the film running at a corking pace.

Beyond that there’s not much to be said in a review. The plot is so shallow it’s a wonder the ships don’t run aground and the film seems to go on slightly longer than is necessary, but the key thing is, while watching it this doesn’t seem to matter. Refreshingly free of the faux gravity of ‘X-Men’, ‘The Matrix’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ or ‘Star Wars’ but more coherent than ‘Charlie’s Angels’, PotC gives great blockbuster.

Utterly disposable enjoyment, but given that a sequel is on the cards for a couple of years time, we’ll have to see if it outstays its welcome.

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By Stephen Lavington

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