MOTW: "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" Review

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Rating: PG-13
Length: 143 minutes
Release Date: July 09, 2003
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy

"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" is one of the most renowned pirate movies of all time. Gore Verbinski, who has also directed such hits as The Ring, The Weather Man and other Johnny Depp films, brought a lot to the table along with writer Ted Elliott, who has helped write blockbusters such as Aladdin, Small Soldiers and Shrek. With such amazing actors as the talented Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley, the film is littered with charismatic acting, humor, action, romance, and all the piratical greed one expects from a pirate flick. Although it is a fantasy movie rated PG-13, it is a movie that attracts a vast audience. Its bending of genre and its fabulous acting make the movie interesting for any gender, race or age group. "The Curse of the Black Pearl" is the first of a series of movies that have grossed a few billion dollars.

The film is set during the end of the golden age of piracy, and it begins with back story information about young William Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley). Just a few minutes into the story you are quickly introduced to the main character Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), an odd and unconventional pirate. He begins by dishonestly speaking honesty to two royal guards of Port Royal. Sparrow plainly shares that he plans to commandeer a worthy vessel for his adventures. He quickly becomes acquainted with Miss Swan when he kidnaps her in order to escape the royal guard after saving her from drowning. While fleeing, Sparrow hides inside William Turner's forgery, where Turner works as a blacksmith. After being defeated and turned in, Sparrow is thrown into prison, where he resides until the legendary Black Pearl, a cursed pirate ship captained by Sparrow's rival Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), attacks Port Royal. Barbossa proceeds to kidnap Elizabeth, believing that she is the key to removing the immortal curse that has been upon them for many years.

Will, who is in love with Elizabeth, makes a deal with Jack Sparrow in order to help him track down the Pearl to find Miss Swan against the will of Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport), who also wishes to take Miss Swan in marriage. Sparrow then gathers a crew from the lawless, pirate-filled city of Tortuga and begins to teach the ways of piracy to young Will, who is firmly against it. Once the Pearl is located by Sparrow and Turner, Barbossa realizes Miss Swan wasn't who she claimed to be when the curse was not lifted from them during a return ceremony of a cursed medallion she carried with her. William then rescues her and leaves Sparrow behind with the crew of the Black Pearl, which he formerly captained. The Black Pearl then seeks out Turner and once captured, Turner reveals that he is the one they are looking for. Will Turner gives himself up in exchange for the safe release of Elizabeth, but Sparrow and Swan are then marooned on an uninhabited island until they are recovered by the royal navy. Once on board, Sparrow deceives Norrington to return to the Pearl in search of Turner, so he is able to fulfill his own intentions of commandeering the Black Pearl.

Once they arrive at the island, Norrington agrees to go along with Sparrow's plan to wait outside to overtake the crew of the Pearl. When Jack Sparrow returns to the cave in which Barbossa and his crew awaits, he betrays Norrington by revealing the plan to Barbossa and his crew, who then initiate a covert counter attack. As soon as the Royal Navy comes under attack, Sparrow betrays Barbossa. He works with Turner to battle Barbossa and the remainder of his crew. After that series of events, the group returns to Port Royal, where Jack Sparrow is immediately sentenced to death by hanging. An interesting turn of events happens during the execution that leaves the audience hanging, setting up the story for the next movie in the series.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" is a critically acclaimed movie that is great for many occasions and demographics. Whether you are a fierce Johnny Depp fan, a pirate fanatic, or just looking for a fun movie to watch, this pirate movie takes the cake. The extraordinary wit of Jack Sparrow, the star cast, the plot twists, the historical lore and the elements of action, suspense and romance coalesce to make this movie an absolute must see.

Rating: 4 out of 5