‘Pirates’ features treasure trove of laughs
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” follows Pirate Captain (Grant) and his wayward crew as they try to gain recognition amongst a sea of pirates that are all competing for the coveted “Pirate of the Year” award. Pirate Captain must prove himself in order to beat, Cutlass Liz (voiced by Selma Hayek) and the reigning champion, Black Bellamy (voiced by Jeremy Piven) both of who were able to score more booty in their plundering.
Pirate Captain and his crew immediately take to the seas and hijack every ship they can in order to solidify their place at the award ceremony. They come up a little short when the ships are carrying ghosts, children and lepers instead of gold. Just when the captain was thinking of retiring from pirating in order to pursue a profitable career in handmade baby clothes, the crew talks him into one last hurrah as they approach another ship. This vessel held no gold either. Instead it was carrying, Charles Darwin (voiced by David Tennant). Angered, Pirate Captain forces Darwin onto the plank. This is when Darwin notices that the “parrot” on Pirate Captain’s shoulder is actually a great scientific discovery that would be worth “a fortune” at the science convention in London. Darwin wants the prize for his own reasons and quickly reveals his own determination for notoriety.
I was fortunate enough to see this movie in 3D. The set design, background elements and characters are so highly detailed that I often missed a spoken line because I was too awed by the glamour of the details. London was so realistic with its cobblestone roads, distressed signs and aged iron fences that I sometimes forgot they were just clay and only a few inches tall. Every scene has its own little goodies. There are whimsical paintings in Pirate Captain’s quarters that will make you laugh. Darwin’s cabin is full of jarred specimens and articulated skeletons that look like you could pick them right from the screen. While I am sure these elements are present if you were to view the 2D version of the movie, I have seen the life that 3D has given them and I must say that it is worth the few extra dollars per ticket. The technology has come a long way since you saw “Jaws 3” with the red and blue lenses. I urge you to give it a try.
When you think of pirates the word “adventure” stands out as a prominent aspect. While there is plenty of adventure, I have to say that “comedy” is what took the wheel in this movie. I laughed out loud MANY times. There were jokes, puns and sight gags galore. There was plenty of slapstick and a fair amount of subtle humor to top it off. Bobo (the monkey) has so many fantastic lines without ever saying a word. His character, instead, holds up nicely printed cards with various words and phrases that add a great deal of humor to his scenes. There were moments that the pirate crew had to switch into clever disguises in order to blend in. I laughed along with the rest of the theater EVERY time they did, too. There were so many good laughs that it felt reminiscent of hanging out with an old friend and sharing funny stories of your past. The adult humor was so well-timed and executed that my six-year-old was none the wiser when all of the grown-ups in the theater were chuckling.
This movie would appeal to kids, teens, adults and anyone who can appreciate stop-motion animation and good comedic banter. There is adventure, comradery, betrayal, redemption and plenty of wholesome fun in this movie. A perfect family night.