Rating: see below for explanation
Rated: PG-13 for action movie violence, really creepy evil undead skeletons/zombies, a whole lot of drinking, some blood, and a wee bit of pirate sexual innuendo. Basically, all the stuff that pirates do best.
This Jerry Bruckheimer film is based on the beloved Disney ride of the same name. It happens to be the last ride that Walt worked on before he died, and is considered by many to be the best ride at the Disney parks. Would Walt be happy with this film? I’d say…. yes. There are enough homages to the ride that fit in context with the film without being cheesy, and yet the film stands alone. Will it make the ride a bit more… interesting? understandable? Perhaps… and therein lies the fun.
This movie has a ton of plusses, and almost all of them are named “Johnny Depp”. He swaggers and steals practically every scene he’s in, and it appears that he had a ton of fun in this role. Orlando Bloom holds his own, as does Geoffrey Rush, but this is, without a doubt, a Johnny Depp movie. This movie deserves a 2 out of 5 ranking for his role in this thing alone.
The CGI is really cool. Not to give anything away, but the core of the story is that the “Curse of the Black Pearl” (the subtitle of the movie) revolves around these walking skeletons, and the way that the skeletons morph back and forth between people and bone is nifty. Get an extra point for this, combined with the wonderful swordfight/action scenes. So right there we’re looking at least a 3 out of 5.
Throughout the movie, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Princess Bride. There are so many times in the movie when it called out for any classic PB quote:
- “Anyone want a peanut”
- “You’re the dread pirate Roberts!”
- “You killed my father; prepare to die!”
- “As you wish!”
- “To the death? NO! To the Pain!”
- “There’s something you don’t know. I am not left-handed!”
That all said, while I *loved* the core plotline and everything that this movie is about… it clocks in at 2.5 hours, which wouldn’t be so bad if Brockheimer lived up to his name of “All Action, All the Time”. There’s just way too many parts of the story that drag.
I *want* to give this movie 4 out of 5, as it is a high-quality movie and very entertaining with just the right amount of humor, action, etc… but it dies from lack of pacing. So it’s stuck with the 3+ out of 5 rating.
It’s a good movie, better than other 3-ranked movies. But it’s just a wee bit too slow.