Pirates of the Caribbean

Sunday 23rd November 20036:00 PM, 9:00 PM, Sunday 15th October 20062:00 PM, Tuesday 17th August 20108:00 PM (free!), Tuesday 2nd June 20157:00 PM (free!)

I love this film. I adore this film. I want this film’s babies. Coming along in a summer of otherwise quite bland fare, this was the big hit of July/ August, resuscitating the Pirate film genre, with a bang, a swagger, a swoon and a crash.

Possibly the success lies in the spot-on casting. The magic lies in uniting two of cinema’s biggest stars and heart-throbs. One is the incredibly, unfairly, gargantuantly talented Johnny Depp, an actor who can really do no wrong, famed for his off-centre, slightly freaky characters, the other is cinema’s hot young thing, the Elvin lovely; Orlando Bloom. Meanwhile Geoffrey Rush has a ball as the villain of the piece, and Kira Knightly pouts and kicks butt as the feisty and fearless heroine. Dubbed a latter-day Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. and Errol Flynn, the chemistry- and sword fights- between the two male leads helps to swing the story along in fine style; a tale of Will (Bloom) Turner’s past catching up with him to threaten what he holds dearest in the world.

The beautiful Elizabeth Swann (a luminous Knightly), daughter of Governor Swann of Port Royal, owns a medallion she lifted from Will as a boy. This medallion is the last piece of a chest of ancient Aztec treasure stolen by a black-hearted pirate crew under the vicious Captain Barbossa. And no ordinary treasure is this, matey- but a terrible curse lies on it- forcing whomever steals it to an unlife as the undead. Only moonlight can reveal then cursed crew for what they are, and only the return of all the pieces can lift the curse.

Barbossa and company sail into Port Royal, blow it up and make off with Elizabeth and the medallion. Now a desperate young Will races off in hot pursuit, guided, aided and gently teased by the fabulous, drunken, reeling, unbelievably cool Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp). Along the way there is walking-the-plank, roistering, one-liners, "monkey!" (huzzah), tarts, booty-kicking, apples, gold teeth, rum- why *is* the rum gone?? and more pirates, ships and high adventure than you can shake a dead man’s chest at.

This was based on a ride at Disney world, but it is so much more than that, taking off into orbit with a rollicking soundtrack, gorgeous scenery (mmmmmm... Bloom, Depp…), fabulous performances all round, and crackingly good battles. There’s so much swash and buckle, the screen can barely contain it, and the story bursts out from it like a glorious, neon-coloured firework. It’s funny, it’s fast, it’s in technicolour, and Depp shines like the fantastic star he is. Ok, so there is a cute monkey. And watch out for the occasional plot hole; but who cares? It’s ‘fabulous, and a bloody good laugh’, to quote another adventure flick.

And a cute monkey is always good- just ask the staff here.

Did I mention just how much I love this film? I can practically guarantee you’ll like it, too.

If you see just one film this season, make it this one; it’s just too brilliant to miss! Get yer butt down here, grab a dram of grog and a wench and have a blast!

Rotten Tomatoes Score:

86%

These pages copyright Union Films, 2001-2018. All views expressed in these pages are those of Union Films, and are not necessarily those of the University Of Southampton, or the Students' Union. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective organisations.

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