Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl isn’t so much a movie as it’s an event – albeit a highly entertaining one. And since we all know that attending an event takes careful planning, here’s some things you should know before you get thee to the nearest theatre.
- Pirates is based on a ride from Disney World, and therefore is light on plot. There’s this pirate ship, see, which has been cursed. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) used to be the captain before his crew mutinied, and he’s determined to take his ship back. He devises a plan that involves lifting the curse and overthrowing the new captain (Geoffrey Rush), for which he will need a young kid named Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). There is a romantically named damsel in distress (Keira Knightly) for good measure. Much sword fighting ensues.
- Pirates is a campy comedy. It’s a bizarre mix of Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Princess Bride and Last of the Mohicans. Although the original teaser trailers showed scary skeletal pirates marching along the bottom of the sea, it isn’t scary at all. Not even the young children behind me appeared frightened. There is some good swordplay, but it’s not an action movie. And even though there is a love story, it would be far less noticeable if no one squealed when there was kissing. Speaking of which…
- It is possible that you will need earplugs. In case you didn’t know, Orlando Bloom is currently in the throes of full teen-idol status. Every time he appears on the screen, young women will shriek and even cry. When he calms a frightened donkey, they will coo. When at the end he gets the girl, they will yell, “Oh My God! They’re kissing! He’s so cute!”
- Johnny Depp is the gayest pirate ever to hit the mainstream. There is, perhaps, gay porn where the actors pretend to be pirates, and that possibly might be more gay. The heavy eyeliner you’ve glimpsed in the previews is just the beginning. He swishes, he sashays, he winks and giggles. There is even a sight gag at the end, to show the audience that director Gore Verbinski (The Ring) knows just how gay the character is.
- It’s 143 minutes long. That’s a lot of movie, yo (ho-ho and a bottle of rum).
- There are, strangely, “Pirates of the Caribbean” enthusiasts. Perhaps that will be limited to Californians who have had the luxury of being within driving distance of a Disney theme park all their lives. These people laugh at throw-away lines of dialogue and cheer at the appearance of certain props, and no one else will get it. Is it because the filmmakers have paid homage to the theme-park ride? Who knows? The group of boys next to us in the theater talked non-stop about the ride before the movie, and then declared the film “flawless.” That’s all I’m saying.
- Pirate attire is optional. If you happen to have a hat, eye patch, red-and-white striped shirt/pants/socks sitting around at home, you should feel free to put them on before you leave the house. You will not be alone. If you don’t want to go all out, a strategically placed bandana will do the trick.
- Hoochie attire is also optional. I didn’t know this, but apparently, if you wear a tube top the size of a dinner plate to see Pirates of the Caribbean, Movie Orlando will jump off the screen and ask you to be his girlfriend. He’ll be your shining star, the one to show you where you are, etc.
There is little doubt in my mind that Pirates will make oodles of money and spawn a franchise. There are undoubtedly many adventures Jack Sparrow can have on the high seas. There are action figures and Happy Meals to sell, dammit! And the title already has that sequel-ready colon built right in.
Plus, did I mention that it’s entertaining?