Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl Retrospective

By: Bryan Montgomery
Rating: 9 out of 10

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl hit theaters in July of 2003.  In a summer full of hotly anticipated titles such as Finding Nemo, The Hulk and X2: X-Men United, POTC sneaked under the radar and took the summer by storm.  The start of the multi-million dollar franchise, POTC: COBP is a great standalone film, and the best film in the series.

When the love of his life, Elizabeth (Kiera Knightly) is captured by the evil Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) must enlist the help of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in order to rescue her.  The duo race off to saveElizabethfrom the grips of Barbosa’s legendary ship, The Black Pearl.

What makes the film work so well is how it is unafraid to be unique and entertaining at the same time.  Hundreds of accolades have been placed upon the performance of Depp as Sparrow, but the fact of the matter is that the strength of the movie rests in its ability to properly tell a story.  The plot progresses one step at a time, allowing the audience to fully comprehend what is happening before throwing yet another curve ball.  That results in the film not becoming confusing, but easy to follow and entertaining to watch.

Pirate movies are never done right, mainly due to the fact that the character of a pirate is never ideal.  That changes with POTC:COBP.  Depp is perfect as Sparrow, and Rush is an ideal pirate in Barbosa.  The two feed off of each other so well that it is difficult to this day to see them in any other role.  Tuner and Knightly do a good job keeping the romantic basics of the film intact, resulting in a core plot that is very strong.

The action is great, from the opening chase in the Carribean to the massive ship battles later in the film, and the final battle in the Isla de Muerta.  Verbinski was able to create an environment of constant adrenaline fuelled by the great usage of special effects during the film’s many action sequences.  The best special effects in the film come when the moonlight hits Barbosa’s cursed crew, which results in a very interesting scene every time it occurs.

If there is any issue with the film, it is the length.  Clocking in at two and a half hours, the film does temporarily drag, but those moments are few and far between.  The film manages to be entertaining throughout while at the same time not sacrificing pacing for action.

Any individual who has seen The Curse of the Black Pearl understands that this film launched the francise.  It is entertaining, backed by great characters, and kicked off a phenomenon and the career of Captain Jack.  Pirates of the Caribbean is arguably the best live-action Disney movie of the last 25 years.

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