This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Seann_M’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Fuck yes. I forgot how great this movie was. Depp's portrayal of Sparrow, especially in this original outing, is revelatory. His particular brand of hammy is perfectly married to this rollicking adventure flick. The entire cast is pitch-perfect, actually. Geoffrey Rush portrays my favorite character in this franchise, totally selling the horror of his curse and offering a fun juxtaposition to Sparrow's kooky nature. Orlando Bloom and Knightley are also great together, obviously.
The score is one of my favorites. It's one of the first movie scores that I ever downloaded onto my iPod back in the day. It pairs so well with the inventive fight choreography, creative staging, and mysterious mythos. The ancient artifacts and curses always intrigued me in this franchise, even if they can be a tad obtuse.
For example, why does the curse require Turner's blood specifically? Wouldn't Elizabeth also be under the curse for a portion of the film, given that she swipes a medallion after having her hand cut open? The film doesn't wanna deal with those inquiries, so shut up and watch the cool skeleton pirates!
I love this movie. It's a throwback to classic adventuring, but doesn't sugarcoat the swashbuckling in a shameless attempt to be family-friendly. This thing is violent! People get stabbed and shot. There are creepy zombies. Blood gets spilled! I also quite enjoyed the pacing. The movie is long but doesn't ever get boring, since every character's allegiance is always shifting. God, I'm so glad I revisited this one.
Bonus points for Norrington, a surprisingly entertaining secondary villain and a great straight-man to Sparrow's quippy antics. Extra bonus points for the fight scenes again! They're so well-done, particularly the first time Will Turner and Jack Sparrow swashbuckle. That little "Pirate!" Jack delivers after Will shames him for cheating? Always makes me laugh.
Even more bonus points for the guts to SLOWLY unveil the nature of the curse. A lesser movie would've begun with some animated opening sequence where the main character, via narration, exposits everything you need to know right off the bat. I liked that "Curse of the Black Pearl" trusts the audience to keep up with the storytelling, even if the logic of the curse itself doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. I still love this freaking flick.