Saw Pirates for the fourth time last night. Fortunately, my brother didn’t have to wee in the middle of it, so I was able to watch the whole thing. Pushing my lust aside, I am going to offer an actual, objective critique on the picture.
First off, I have to say I’m utterly impressed with the fencing. It was just right for a movie that has one foot placed in fantasy, the other foot rooted in history. Fencing nowadays (the Italian style at least, which is the most traditional) doesn’t involve much lateral motion; it takes place on a strict line, a forward and backward motion are the only ones allowed. But whoever the swordmaster was on this film really knew what he was about. The footwork was perfect, outdated by our standards, but authentic to the time period. The parries were a tad flourished, but that was fine, considering it is a “fantasy” film after all and it really enhanced the almost fairy-tale like atmosphere of it.
But enough about swordplay because once I get started, I won’t ever stop.
Secondly, I’ve mentioned this before, but the score is EXCELLENT. Hans Zimmer is best recognised by his strings; he knows how to use them to wring emotion from his audience. I love the little suite in the very beginning, it feels very colonial folk-ish. However, the strongest part of the score was the percussion work, which really almost sets the pace for the film, quick and rhythmic.
Now we move onto the writing and acting. There were some sticky parts to the writing, no denying that, but I suppose I can forgive it because it is a summer flick and not to meant to make one think too much. However, there was one glaring plothole that bothered me.
How the hell did Bootstrap Bill die?
He must have also been afflicted with the curse because he sent off a piece of it to Will, thus rendering him undead with the rest of Barbossa’s crew. Unless the curse has a delayed reaction, which seems silly. For a while, I wondered why they needed Bill Turner’s blood to lift the curse before I realised that what they mean was that the blood of every pirate who took a piece must be shed before the curse is lifted, which was why Will’s blood was needed. Or at least, I think so, because Jack cut his hand before throwing his coin back to Will.
Will’s character could have certainly used a bit more development. I feel a bit sorry for Orli; he’s gorgeous and all, but this wasn’t exactly a role in which he could stretch out his acting legs. It was a bit weak, especially in contrast to Jack Sparrow and Barbosssa, who stole the entire movie.
Okay, now Barbossa. Every time I watch the movie, I am more and more impressed with Geoffrey Rush. He played that role to the tee, especially his accent, which I loved. His accent was perfect. He’s a fantastic actor and it still throws me that he was the voice of Nigel the Seagull in Finding Nemo.
Perhaps I shouldn’t start with Jack Sparrow or risk having this objective critique fall into extremely biased drooling.
The costuming was great as well. Completely authentic. I especially love the pirate costumes, particularly Barbossa’s. The angle of his hat, the flair of his coat, everything was just right. I also loved Governor Swann’s outfits. Perfect.
The special effects were good, not astounding and it didn’t really overwhelm the movie. I can’t help but compare this film to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the other summer action flick, which made me slightly nauseated with its overdone special effects. The last fight scene between Jack and Barbossa was great, how they both passed from flesh to bone in the moonlight and shadow. But the rest of the world felt real, which was nice, with the exception of the Isla de Muerte (Island of Death, how trite), with it’s barren volcano in the center. Like an island like THAT is really going to be found in the Caribbean.
In conclusion, this film was JUST RIGHT. It’s not Oscar-worthy, but it’s definitely a cut above the rest. It didn’t particularly move me emotionally or intellectually (physically, maybe heh heh), but it has just the right amount of history, fantasy, and modern-day sensibilities to make it a very satisfying movie.