The Pirates! Band Of Misfits 3D– Movie Review
Pirates have been all the rage again since Johnny Depp threw on eyeliner for 2003′s first Pirates of the Caribbean film. So much so that the genre seems ripe for the parody that The Pirates! Band Of Misfits provides. Like a family-friendly Super Troopers of its own genre, Pirates! gleefully sends up all the heroic nautical conventions, showing a ragtag bunch of buncaneers who are having too good a time having adventures to do their job very well. Unfortunately, it’s not as funny as I had expected from the early publicity, but at a breezy 90 minutes, it’s just fine for a family outing.
Pirates! follows The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) and his crew as they make a last-ditch effort to win the Pirate of the Year award by capturing more gold than anyone else on the high seas. Unfortunately, the pirates are coming up empty- until they board the ship of Charles Darwin (David Tennant), who informs them that their beloved parrot Polly is in fact the last surviving Dodo bird in the world. They set of to London, home of the sadistically anti-pirate Queen Victoria, where The Captain expects to reap massive prize money for his discovery- but eventually he must decide what matters to him most: money and awards, or the love and happiness of his friends.
The entire film is brilliantly and intricately designed mayhem, including both the stop-motion animation scenes and the occasional scenes of traditional animation. This is no small feat in the time-intensive art form. (I’m not sure the 3D is necessary though to get the most of the movie.)
There’s a moral about old-fashioned values and fun standing up in the face of modern “progress”, but the film’s main thrust is to do the right thing instead of the profitable thing. The movie takes hilarious liberty with history (unless Queen Victoria had a marital arts habit I don’t know about) to emphasize the contrast between the inept pirates and the modern science and technology encroaching on their world. This might have been more resonant in the UK, where the film was made, but here in the US, I don’t think poor Charles Darwin needs any more bashing!
Did you see The Pirates! Band of Misfits? What did you think?