So, Is ‘Curse of the Black Pearl’ Still Any Good?

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is out this week. Before it graces our screens we thought we’d go back and have a look at the film that started it all, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

So, is it still any good? 

Based on the 1967 theme park attraction of the same name, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl sailed into cinemas back in 2003. It was a different time then and there wasn’t the high level of skepticism that would exist today after hearing a film based off a ride had a budget of $140 million.

Despite what you may think of him lately, Johnny Depp brought one of the more memorable characters to life in Jack Sparrow, and his performance is the perfect blend of swashbuckling rogue and idiotic every-man. From his introductory scene you learn everything you need to know about Jack. Captain Jack stepping onto the dock from a sinking ship had me crying from laughter as a 12 year old.

Gore Virbinski is an interesting director. I really enjoy his directing in his early films The Ring and even The Mexican. I even enjoy his style in Dead Man’s Chest. His work was appalling on both At World’s End, The Lone Ranger and this years A Cure for Wellness. It isn’t hard to say that The Curse of the Black Pearl is easily his best work. Combining a fun pirate adventure on the high seas with a supernatural twist, Virbinski was able to craft an appealing movie to fans of many genres and age groups.

As great as Depp and Virbinski are here, the score really elevates the film to another level. Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt compose a fun, swashbuckling theme that compliments every scene it’s in.

Supporting Depp is a cast of eclectic characters. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are pretty great as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, but even the smaller characters in the film are memorable. The hapless pair of pirates Ragetti and Pintel are fun side characters, providing some good comedic moments.

Geoffrey Rush as the cursed villain Barbossa is a joy to watch. His scenes are some of my favourite in the film, especially the dinner scene with Elizabeth. Rush’s pained delivery of his lines really show just how horrific and tortured his existence has become because of the curse bestowed upon him and his crew.Now let’s talk about that curse for a minute. The Black Pearl isn’t actually cursed, rather the crew is. Upon re-watching the title just kind of irked me because it technically isn’t correct.

As for issues with this film they’re really few and far between. There’s cliches abound of course and the movie tends to run a little long at 143 minutes. The McGuffin plot device is constantly used throughout the Pirates series. A few of the fight scenes are obviously sped up, creating an awkward blur here and there.

The special effects hold up surprisingly well, especially when the pirate crew turn into skeletons in the moonlight. The use of practical effects in the ship to ship combat is great; splintering wood fragments and cannonballs flying everywhere really sets up the fun action scenes.

With Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, Rush’s Barbossa, the fun sword fights and swirling adventurous score, The Curse of the Black Pearl still remains a fun and enjoyable pirate film that has aged quite well.

What do you think of The Curse of the Black Pearl? Is it still any good? Was it ever any good? Let us know in the comments and on our Facebook page.

Don’t forget to check back here at So, Is  It Any Good? and our YouTube channel for reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales later this week.

Drink up me hearties, yo ho!