Sunday, July 13, 2003

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (IMDB) (Netflix)
The colon-ated title signals that this is Disney's latest attempt at a sequel-friendly movie franchise, with Johnny Depp as pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, Geoffrey Rush as the mutinous-but-cursed Barbossa, Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann, the Governor's daughter, and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, the smitten blacksmith. Everybody wants something: Sparrow wants his ship back, Barbossa wants Elizabeth's gold medallion and Turner just wants Elizabeth. Someone's going to be disappointed.

Weighing in at a Harry Potter-esque two hours and fifteen minutes, it's too long (by the end, one youngster had collapsed from fatigue), which is unfortunate, because this was great fun. Depp has always played his roles a little off-balance, and here he has a role where he can really cut loose: a slightly mad, mascara'd charmer with a scorned-and-furious woman in every port. Knightly is vulnerable without being helpless and Rush is unabashedly evil. Despite the huge number of convincing ghost-skeletons, or maybe because of them, the kids in the audience seemed to eat this one up.

Tiring, but not tiresome.