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John Chard
Ah, but you have heard of me. The crew of the Black Pearl are cursed by something most unimaginable, the only way to lift the curse is to return a lost Aztec coin to its treasure chest home. In the way of them achieving their goal is the British Governor's daughter, the son of Bootstrap Turner, oh and a former comrade by the name of Captain Jack Sparrow who the crew had left to die on an island some time ago. It's now common knowledge that Pirates Of The Caribbean is a film based upon a theme park ride of the same name, tho that ride is not actually a roller-coaster, it's fair to say that this film most assuredly is. A swashbuckling ripper of an adventure yarn cramming in every pirate film staple it can and pouring on layers of charm at every turn. Into the broth goes romance, comedy and striking adventure, and director Gore Verbinski even manages to give the children watching little slices of horror, not enough to keep them up at night, but enough to bring on an uneasy grin. It's unashamedly commercial, produced by that purveyor of OTT entertainment values, Jerry Bruckheimer, it was to be expected, but few blockbusting movies of the new age can lay claim to being such an out and out reason for having fun, and this this is the reason why Pirates has few peers, it knows its reason for being, it's not taking itself seriously, the audience is not being hoodwinked in any way, it is having fun because so is the film and so is crucially, its impressive cast. Johnny Depp as Sparrow is having the time of his life, basing the character around the dubious mannerisms of Rolling Stone icon, Keith Richards, it works to its highest potential and Depp is simply wonderful in the role. Keira Knightley {perfectly cast}, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Jack Davenport, Jonathan Pryce and Mackenzie Crook all do what was asked, which is essentially say your lines right and have a blast with it, it really is that sort of picture. The subsequent sequels would forget what made this first offering so enjoyable, foregoing the outrageous sense of fun for a dark sheen and character development. That is a shame, but at the least we still have this wonderful picture to go back to time and time again, to lift you up when one is down or to keep one happy when one is already in that happy place, The Curse Of The Black Pearl is a joy from start to finish. 9/10

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