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Uh...no.

(If this is your first time on this blog, I ask you to read my “About” page first! You can find a link to it at the top left-hand corner of this blog. Thanks!)

Well, the time has come to review one of the most beloved live-action Disney films of all time. This is a film that revolutionized live-action Disney films as we know it. This is a film that revolutionized its genre as we know it. You can probably argue that this film revolutionized cinema as we know it. 

Lady lovers of Johnny Depp, keep your hearts in check for we are about to embark on a ride through another pirate-related film. Sit back and enjoy the review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”.

And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!

The film opens up to a scene aboard a ship belonging to the British Navy that’s currently sailing through Port Royal, Jamaica. The voyage is relatively uneventful, that is, until they come upon a burning shipwreck.

pirates of the caribbean burning ship

With all the fire, you can swear that this is a Universal Studios attraction!

The sailors aboard the ship assume that this be the work of pirates.

pirates of the caribbean pirates

They’re not quite subtle about their conjectures.

As they approach the wreckage, they also rescue a young boy who’s found floating in the ocean aboard a raft, clearly a survivor of this supposed pirate attack.

The future Jack Dawson?

The future Jack Dawson?

Cut to 8 years later. We’re introduced to Elizabeth Swann, a young woman played by Keira Knightley. She was one of the people aboard the ship eight years ago. But of course, she was a little girl back then.

"Are you implying that I'm old, Mr. Reviewer?"

“Are you implying that I’m old, Mr. Reviewer?”

She’s the daughter of a governor and has to deal with “rich people” problems including, but not limited to, wearing tight corsets. The poor dear!Why is she wearing a tight corset on this particular day? Well, she’s attending a ceremony in which an acquaintance of hers is to be promoted, so naturally she has to look her best…even if it means dealing with a few minor annoyances.

"You call the inability to breathe a minor annoyance?!"

“You call the inability to breathe a minor annoyance?!”

This acquaintance, Lieutenant Norrington, played by Jack Davenport, is being promoted to the title of Commodore. And as luck would have it, he also was one of those aboard the ship 8 years ago. He actually was one of the main officers of that ship. A few years older than Elizabeth and a good friend to her father, he develops a liking towards Elizabeth and actually tries to propose to her after the ceremony.

"I have something to ask you, dear Elizabeth, and I'd like you to listen very carefully."

“You know what they say about popping? It’s a sound that weasels make apparently. It’s one of the names of the ‘Rice Krispies’ elves. It’s what one does with a particular sort of question…”

Sadly, she falls into the ocean (due to being asphyxiated by the aforementioned tight corset) before he can finish the proposal.

Insert Goofy Yell and/or Wilhelm Scream here.

Insert Goofy Yell and/or Wilhelm Scream here.

"...and so concluding, would you care to join with me in holy matrimony? Are you listening, Elizabeth? Elizab...huh...she's run off...what's with girls these days...no manners, whatsoever!"

“…and so in conclusion, would you care to join with me in holy matrimony? Are you listening, Elizabeth? Elizab…huh…she’s run off…what’s with girls these days…no manners, whatsoever!”

Luckily, she’s saved from drowning by a certain pirate who’s entered Port Royal without being discovered yet. A certain vagabond by the name of Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp.

"The BEST pirate to ever set sail on the Caribbean, my good man!"

“The BEST pirate to ever set sail on the Caribbean, my good man!”

"God guide your misguided soul! Amen! I'm the best pirate on these seas!"

“God guide your misguided soul! Amen! I’m the best pirate on these seas!”

"I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you, matey. You see, I pilfer, plunder, and am a man of disreputable character."

“I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with you, matey. You see, I pilfer, plunder, and am a man of disreputable character.”

"Well, I threaten to kill little boys."

“Well, I threaten to kill little boys.”

"Ah, point taken. Well, this was a nice chat and everything. But I better hurry along and rescue that falling Elizabeth person. Savvy?"

“Ah, point taken. Well, this was a nice chat and everything. But I better hurry along and rescue that falling Elizabeth person. Savvy?”

"Aye matey, I savvy. Go long and rescue the maiden of your picture."

“Aye matey, I savvy. Go long and rescue your fair maiden.”

"Thank you."

“Thank you.”

"GERONIMO!"

“GERONIMO!”

Surprisingly, Norrington isn’t happy that Jack has saved Elizabeth’s life, and actually has his men arrest Jack (for being a pirate). But Jack manages to escape from them.

pirates of the caribbean escape

“Round the world an home again, that’s the sailor’s way!”

While running away from the soldiers, Jack finds a blacksmith’s shop and hides there hoping that nobody would notice him. Much to his displeasure, somebody does indeed notice him: the blacksmith’s apprentice, Will Turner, played by Orlando Bloom.

Will was actually the young boy who was found floating on the raft eight years ago. Since then, he has been close with the Swann family and has gained a liking towards Elizabeth much like Norrington has. The difference though, is that Elizabeth actually likes Will and not Norrington. Oh well, more of this “love triangle” later, let’s get back to Jack and Will.

Will recognizes Jack to be the pirate that the soldiers are looking for and proves himself quite skillful with the sword as the two have a duel in the blacksmith’s shop.

pirates of the caribbean duel1

pirates of the caribbean duel2

pirates of the caribbean duel3

The duel ends as the soldiers catch up with Jack and incarcerate him in one of the dungeon cells.

The cell actually pays tribute to the original "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride. Now if we can only find the two guys playing the unending game of chess...

The cell actually pays tribute to the original “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. Now if we can only find the two guys playing the unending game of chess…

And that’s the end of that…until later that night, when the weather seems to change. Everything gets dark and strange noises appear by the dock. Not only are there strange noises, but there’s a strange sight. A pirate ship called the “Black Pearl” has entered the harbor and the pirates have laid siege on Port Royal and its citizens.

pirates of the caribbean ship attack

pirates of the caribbean ship attack2

pirates of the caribbean ship attack3

pirates of the caribbean pirate raid

pirates of the caribbean pirate raid2

You see, the “Black Pearl” is a legendary pirate ship that’s supposedly run by pirates who are so evil that even Hell spat them out. The ship is also the fastest and most formidable ship on the waters. So, naturally, everyone runs for safety when the pirates invade.

After pillaging and looting, the pirates come across Elizabeth and are about to kill her when she asks for “parley”.

Barley?

Barley?

No, parley! Apparently, by the official “Pirate Code”, if a victim asks for parley, it means that he/she has to be escorted safely to the captain of the ship so that they may discuss things, mostly terms to let the victim go free and the besieging to end.

Once aboard the ship, she meets the captain of the ship named Barbossa, played by Geoffrey Rush.

How does one go from becoming an enemy to the Crown to helping the Crown speak without a stutter?

How does one go from becoming an enemy to the Crown to helping the Crown speak without a stutter?

She introduces herself as Elizabeth Turner (as opposed to Elizabeth Swann) and makes a deal with the pirates. She comes to the conclusion that the pirates are after a particular gold coin that she wears as a necklace and offers to give it to them if they’ll stop bombarding the city. (The gold coin necklace was actually Will Turner’s, but she took it from him when he was unconscious on the ship eight years ago).

We have no idea why this gold coin is so important, but any coin that actually has a skull impressed on it can't lead to anything good.

We have no idea why this gold coin is so important, but any coin that actually has a skull impressed on it can’t lead to anything good.

Barbossa agrees to her conditions…but sadly, Elizabeth forgot to include in her terms that she should be brought back to the city safely, so the pirates take her as a hostage and sail away.

"I mean...dudette."

“I mean…dudette.”

The next day, Norrington and his crew decide to send out some ships to try to find the “Black Pearl”. Will suggests that they ask Jack Sparrow where the “Black Pearl” would be headed to since he himself is a pirate. Norrington says no to this idea.

Unsatisfied with Norrington’s decisions, Will takes it upon himself and heads to the dungeon to make a deal with Jack. He offers to help Jack escape in exchange for Jack’s help to find the “Black Pearl”. Jack agrees and is soon freed…and is soon is possession of a British Navy ship, the “Interceptor”, that he and Will quite conveniently pilfered for their ship-seeking purposes.

The conquering heroes are on their way...well, the blacksmith's apprentice with a schoolboy crush and the disreputable pirate are on their way.

The conquering heroes are on their way…well, the blacksmith’s apprentice with a schoolboy crush and the disreputable pirate are on their way.

As they go about their journey, they stop at at an island to gather a crew and Will learns a secret about his past. Apparently his father was also a pirate and was known as Bootstrap Bill Turner. Not only that, but Jack personally knew Bootstrap Bill back in the day. Will takes a while to stomach this new piece of family trivia.

Meanwhile aboard the Black Pearl, Barbossa starts to explain to Elizabeth why they need the gold piece. Apparently, Barbossa and his men had plundered some Incan gold many years ago that was supposedly cursed. At first, they didn’t believe in the curse, but soon they weren’t able to satisfy their bodily desires. They would eat and eat and not get full. They would drink and drink and not get quenched. They wouldn’t be able to feel and they wouldn’t be able to die. They were trapped in a curse of unlivable immortality. And their true selves were only apparent under the moonlight.

pirates of the caribbean skeletons

"And you thought Aragorn's ghost army was something to behold."

“And you thought Aragorn’s ghost army was something to behold.”

The only way for the curse to be broken is for all the gold pieces that they plundered to be returned to their treasure chest that Barbossa and his men have hidden in some nearby caves. They managed to get all the gold pieces back except for the one that Elizabeth has, and that’s why they need her gold piece.

So you may be asking yourself why they need Elizabeth. Well, the curse is broken by returning all the gold pieces AND spilling the blood (merely making a cut in the hand) of a Turner. You see, Bootstrap Bill Turner was the only one of them who didn’t partake in the plundering of the Incan gold and believed that Barbossa and his men truly deserved to be cursed. They, of course, killed him. And somehow…Bootstrap Bill’s non-participation means that his blood is needed to end the curse. Oh well, I’m buying it.

But, as we know, Elizabeth isn’t REALLY a Turner, so when they finally reach the caves, return the gold piece, and slice her hand, nothing happens leading to a bunch of angry pirates.

"How dare ye lie about your family name! Thy death may be soon approaching, little missy!"

“How dare ye lie about your family name! Thy death may be soon approaching, little missy!”

Thankfully, Jack and Will arrive in time to save Elizabeth from the rowdy mob. Will and Elizabeth make it back safely to the “Interceptor”, but Jack is caught by the pirates. The “Interceptor” sails ahead without Jack (due to the rules of the Pirate Code) and Jack makes a deal with Barbossa to give him Turner’s true offspring, Will. And seeing how Barbossa and his men NEED Turner’s offspring, he accepts Jack’s proposal and they all go aboard the “Black Pearl” and try to overtake the “Interceptor”.

On the journey, we learn more about Jack’s past. You see, apparently Jack was once the captain of the “Black Pearl” until Barbossa and the other men laid mutiny on him and left him on a deserted island to die. Somehow or another, Jack made it off the island alive. How?

That satisfies me.

That satisfies me.

Anyway after a little naval skirmish, they catch up to the “Interceptor” and capture everyone aboard. And Barbossa doesn’t show any changed colors by abandoning Jack AGAIN on the same island as before (this time with Elizabeth) and keeps Will and the others as prisoners/hostages. Good ol’ Barbossa, always fighting fair!

"A pirate's definition of 'fighting fair' varies a bit from that of the common landlubbers."

“A pirate’s definition of ‘fighting fair’ varies a bit from that of the common landlubbers.”

On the island, Jack explains to Elizabeth exactly how he got off the island the first time. Apparently, the island was used as an illegal rum storage by some rumrunners and he bartered passage from them the next time they visited the island. But it appears now that the rum-running business is out of business. So how do they get off the island? Well, Elizabeth decides to set everything on the island on fire so as to attract the attentions of any passing ship.

"Woman, what are you doing?! STOP!"

“Woman, what are you doing?! STOP!”

Surprisingly, the plan works as the British Navy ship, the “Dauntless”, led by Commodore Norrington notices the fire and rescues Elizabeth and Jack. Norrington is still unsympathetic towards Jack and plans to punish him when they arrive back in Port Royal. But, Jack (along with Elizabeth’s sudden promise to accept Norrington’s marriage proposal) persuades Norrington that the “Black Pearl” is not in shipshape order (see what I did there? shipshape, lol!) and that they can go after it, capture the pirates, and save Will. Reluctantly, Norrington agrees.

"Oh, all right! At least I'm getting the girl of my dreams out of this deal."

“Oh, all right! At least I’m getting the girl of my dreams out of this deal.”

So they head out to the caves in order to lay a surprise attack on Barbossa and his men. Sadly, the surprise is on Norrington as Barbossa’s men attack the “Dauntless”.

It's night impossible to kill immortal people.

It’s nigh impossible to kill immortal people.

Jack manages to sneak into the caves before Will’s blood is let and has a one-on-one duel with Barbossa. The duel ends when Jack passes the last gold coin to Will and Will drops it back into the chest with his blood on it. This causes the pirates aboard the ship (as well as Barbossa) to become human again. The pirates aboard the ship are captured and Barbossa is shot dead by Jack.

He looks somewhat happy to die.

He looks somewhat happy to die.

After these events, everybody heads back to Port Royal and Jack is still headed for the gallows. But, Will and Elizabeth feel somewhat sorry for Jack and help Jack escape onto his ship (he’s regained the “Black Pearl”) and sail away. Will also sees a happy ending as Elizabeth tells Norrington that she wants to marry Will and not him like she promised earlier. Man, I feel so sorry for Norrington.

"Oh, don't let it get you down. Nobody ever remembers the ones who get turned down in romantic tales anyway. It's like we don't deserve to be remembered. Romantic fiction is quite cruel."

“Oh, don’t let it get you down. Nobody ever remembers the ones who get turned down in romantic tales anyway. It’s like we don’t deserve to be remembered. Romantic fiction is quite cruel.”

And that’s that. What can I say? This film is not a favorite of mine, but I strongly believe it to be a really good film.

The actors are amazing, Johnny Depp especially (He was even nominated for the “Academy Award for Best Actor” and deservingly so). The story is quite simple, yet at the same time a bit complicated, thereby producing just the right mixture of texture and simplicity.

The cinematography, fight scenes, and visual effects are enjoyable to watch (at least for its time). I don’t really have much/any problem with this movie. And I can totally see why this movie revolutionized Disney’s live-action films as well as it did the pirate genre. Why, do you ask?

'Nuff said!

That’s why! 

(You can click on the image below for an enlarged version of my rating sheet.)

pirates of the caribbean rating

So, the final score for this film is 33/35 = 94.29% (A) !