In case you don’t know by now, Pirates of the Caribbean was spawned from the ride down at Disney World and has proved to be one of the better ideas Disney has had in some time. To date, the four films have grossed over three billion dollars. With that kind of green, it’s not mystery why 2011 finds us watching the fourth entry (also being shown in 3D IMAX, of course). In prep for watching the fourth earlier this year, I watched the first three again, not to remember anything, but as an excuse seeing as how I have enjoyed the series thus far (damn near know every line of dialog in Dead Man’s Chest).
We start with young Miss Swan on a ship with the King’s Navy and Captain Jack’s future first mate part of the crew. A boy is found floating adrift and we later discover him to be William Turner-son of Bootstrap Bill, a pirate on the movie’s title ship: The Black Pearl.
Jump ahead about eight years later and we steadily become reintroduced to all these characters. Elizabeth Swan (Kiera Knightly) is now looking at a probable marriage to the guy captaining the ship she found William on (creepy much?), Will (Orlando Bloom) has been taken in by a blacksmith and is not only a brilliant sword maker, but an equally great sword wielder. Lastly we have Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) himself sailing intoPort Royalon a sinking ship.
What do they say about the captain going down with the ship?
From here you can not only look at the end of this movie, but also the end of the trilogy and admire the character development seen in Will and Elizabeth. But they don’t get there easily. See, I left out a little tidbit in the first paragraph. Elizabethwas on a boat that rescued Will. And Will was adrift from a pirate ship, but he also had a gold medallion from a cursed treasure around his neck thatElizabethtook. The cursed pirates aboard the Black Pearl need Turner blood to become….uncursed. Uncursed? Yeah, I’ll go with that wording. Elizabeth-in an attempt to not be recognized as the governor’s daughter- says her last name is Turner, and that right there is your conflict.
To the story, mate. Origin stories tend to be pretty decent and Pirates (along with numerous other franchises with a background story that becomes the first movie) is no exception. As far as I’m concerned, this one and the two sequels can be watched over and over resulting in continued joy.
Hey, I said “tend” to be….
As you read this, you might be able to tell I’m having a hard time separating one movie from its sequels as far as the development on all fronts goes. On that note, I’m also going to steer this toast from the story development to the character development. This movie was the first step in making pirates mainstream AND awesome. Well, they were always awesome, but now more people like them which will always serve as validation in some form. The key was having a great cast in even better roles. Perhaps the main reason why I love these movies so, though, is the charisma that Johnny Depp gives to his iconic Captain Jack.
Also, my love of the score and cinematography in the series just keeps improving. I will always love hearing the main Pirates of theCaribbeantheme. I also love the scenes in which it is partnered with, and even without said music, some scenes just rock it.
They say “a pirate’s life for me”, but I’m stuck here, as a pirate, in the afterlife!
Few movies will ever get A toast in my mind. For those that I love that simply don’t rank with the upper echelon, I have to give two beers. The reason I’m picking is for this second beer is that this film doesn’t quite reach the heights of the next film in the series, but it’s plenty watchable on its own.
While the fourth movie just came out to terrible reviews, the franchise has spawned four movies for a reason. Without a solid foundation, we’d have never gotten here. To that you might say “well, the fourth sucked, so maybe we shouldn’t have gotten here.” A valid point, but you can’t warrant the dismissal of a great movie just because it got a terrible sequel. Pirates 1 is a fun movie for all ages that defines the term “summer blockbuster” with its big budget and a fantastic cast.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a shot: every time Captain Sparrow utters his famous “This is the day you will always remember as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!” line.
Take a drink: for every sword fight
Take a shot: every time Captain Sparrow says something confusing and/or the word “savvy”