Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of Black Pearl

Details & Information from IMDB

Genre Adventure
Year 2003
Duration 143 min
Rating 8.0 out of 10
Description: Pirates of the Caribbean is a sweeping action-adventure story set in an era when villainous pirates scavenged the Caribbean seas. This roller coaster tale teams a young man, Will Turner, with an unlikely ally in rogue pirate Jack Sparrow. Together, they must battle a band of the world's most treacherous pirates, led by the cursed Captain Barbossa, in order to save Elizabeth, the love of Will's life, as well as recover the lost treasure that Jack seeks. Against improbable odds, they race towards a thrilling, climactic confrontation on the mysterious Isla de Muerta. Clashing their swords in fiece mortal combat, Will and Jack attempt to recapture The Black Pearl ship, save the British navy, and relinquish a fortune in forbidden treasure thereby lifting the curse of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Comments: I wasn't excited about the prospect of Pirates Of The Caribbean. The film is based on a Disney theme park ride (and apparently even incorporates stages of the ride into the plot) and comes from schlock king Jerry Bruckheimer. It's an attempt to revive the pirate movie, a genre few have lamented since Cutthroat Island. Worst of all, the trailer made it look like a disastrous mishmash of genres, and even bad films usually produce a decent trailer. Luckily, my expectations were completely confounded; Pirates Of The Caribbean is a sensational blockbuster.

Despite its origins, the plot is by turns exciting and surprising. The pirates of the Black Pearl capture the beautiful Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly), as they believe her blood will set them free of their curse; by day they appear normal, but by moonlight they are revealed as skeletal zombies. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) sets off to rescue her, enlisting the help of pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who has his own agenda after being overthrown as captain of the Pearl by the mutinous Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).

Bloom and Knightly lead a strong British contingent including Jack Davenport, Jonathan Pryce, and The Office's Mackenzie Crook, but Johnny Depp is the undisputed star in a hilariously camp performance that is more Keith Richards than Errol Flynn. When Davenport's stuck-up Commodore tells him `You are without a doubt the worst pirate I have ever heard of' Sparrow slurs insouciantly `Ah, but you have heard of me?' Some of the action is breathtakingly exciting, particularly one tremendous swordfight between Depp and Bloom, and the CGI skeletons are truly disturbing.

But what makes Pirates Of The Caribbean such a triumph is the ease with which it leaps between styles. The film is full of great comic moments, but also manages to be exciting, scary and even moving. From this hybrid premise you feel many directors would have delivered a half-baked pastiche but Gore Verbinski has come up with a genuine swashbuckling epic loaded with drama, comedy, and romance. I didn't think I'd be saying this, but Pirates Of The Caribbean really is the ride of the summer.