Hey me maties, Harry De La Knowles here with me golden goods upon that seven seas cinema that'll be slapping sail cloth near you this Summer... Aye, I'm talking bout PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Personally - the script sounds fun - rather straightforward and so long as that tunesmith Alan Silvestri sets the seas in motion with a score to soothe and excite... well me maties, this could be a tale worth telling, seeing and watching. Now, before we sail to the second star, I give you to me boy, Jamie... a fine lad...
Harry me lad, I saw your excitement over PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and being a bit of a seadog myself, I looted and pillaged a script. I always sample a bottle of wine before I buy it. Let's have a sip, see if it's worth taking along. So, I figure if I got my hands on the script, you must have too. If everyone assumed that though, you wouldn't get all the scoops. It's a cliched, formula derived yarn that still manages to be fun. This is spoiler stuff here, but the story is meant to be understood by kids, and there are not many surprises. So here are the pieces for you to put together.
The story centers on Elizabeth, a young English girl being raised by her father in a Caribbean colony. Her father is the governor of said colony, which makes her very upper crust. Their are two men vying for her love. One is the general who has almost as much pull as the governor in this frontier colony, Norrington, and the other is a young blacksmith's apprentice, Will (Orlando Bloom.) Will's specialty is swords, which works out well in the end. Guess what? she has a thing for Orlando, but him being a poor orphan and all, it can never be. Elizabeth must marry someone worthy of a governor's daughter. Her dad is pretty much arranging a marriage for her with Norrington, but what kind of Disney heroine would ever go for that? Elizabeth has known Will since they were children. They meet in the film's opening. On her passage from England, her ship sailed through the wreckage of another ship that was sunk by pirates, and young Will is the only survivor to be rescued.
Elizabeth is kidnapped in a pirate's raid, and the two men compete to rescue the woman of their dreams. Norrington uses the royal Navy, while Will is assisted by Jack (Mr. Depp). Johnny Depp makes a hell of a pirate, with Dred locks and a gnarly goatee. Jack's motive are selfish. Let's just say Jack is the Han Solo of Pirates. So with Jack's rag tag crew, the race to save Elizabeth and win her heart is on.
So...the pirates. Geoffrey Rush is Captain Barbossa, think Black Beard. This being Disney, the Pirates can't just be evil. There just has to be some reason for them being mean all the time. Turns out, they just made a mistake a ways back, greedily stealing some cursed gold. They now live as the undead, doomed to walk the earth restlessly until they gather up every bit of cursed gold and return it.
Did I mention Will wears a gold charm on his neck with the Jolly Roger on it? His dad gave it to him. His dad who went to the Caribbean seeking a fortune, but who disappeared mysteriously? Do I even need to tell you that this is the last piece of gold that the pirates need? that Elizabeth is ultimately the bait?
I know I made some fun here of the story, because it is quite cheesy and cliched. I imagine they could have stolen this plot from some romance novel with Fabio on the cover. So why does it work? It never pretends to be anything more than what it is, and it makes fun of itself with references to the ride. When we meet Jack, he is in prison. In the next cell are 4 pirates. They are all calling over a dog who holds the keys to the cell in his mouth. You know the scene. Jack quips 'you can try all you want, that dog will never move.' Not hilarious, but it shows the spirit here. With the caliber of the (very attractive) cast, Jerry Bruckheimer action, and a few laughs, I think it should be a fun two hours at the theater with your kids.