Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl ★★★★½

Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly compete for best hair.

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the best fantasy epics around. It balances horror, action, humour and historical themes effectively, making it a portable theme park adventure for all members of the family. Johnny Depp is absolutely perfect as Captain Jack Sparrow, masking his inner genius behind dumb luck, wit and incompetance. His unpredictable nature makes him a joy to watch. The whole notion of piracy is presented well ( reflecting the Disneyland ride) as it uses clever comedy and spectacle to romantisize the myth surrounding these figures, in addition to showing the ugliness and cruelty of it as well. Its an excellent blend of harsh reality and legend, giving the series this unique tone. There's really nothing like Pirates of the Caribbean.

I really like the feud between Sparrow and Barbossa, portraying the appeal of piracy (adventure, treasure hunting, honor among thieves) against what it easily becomes (barbasism, cruelty, dishonour). It's an epic duel between fiction and fact, and it's brilliant.

Most aspects of production hold up well today as you contantly view gorgeous practical sets, effects and stunts. These locations are all imprinted in my mind from childhood, supported that they are clearly real. Although the computer visual effects are dated, the animation is superb as they react excellently with the environment.

There's a point somewhere in the middle where the plot goes in a circle (the island). Although enjoyable it takes away the from threat of the film, and doesn't have amy relevance outside it (the characters don't learn anything). It's not real detriment, but it an oppurtunity to add improvements.

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