PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL directed by Gore Verbinski, written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, with Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush. A Disney release. 140 minutes. For venues and times, see First-Run Movies, page 65. Rating: NN Rating: NNNNN
This adventure flick is distended to improbable length. Too bad the writers didn't realize the dashing young hero (Orlando Bloom) and the flashy pirate (Johnny Depp) could have been the same person. Then they could have dispensed with the separate narrative lines for the star (Depp) and the lead (Bloom). Was Disney affeared of positioning the hero as a possible bad guy? Have these people never seen an Errol Flynn movie?
Bloom is probably ready to carry a picture on his own, even if he's overshadowed here by Depp's baroquely hammy turn. Geoffrey Rush bites deep into the role of the villain, but Depp should have played the evil pirate captain. As opposed to the good pirate captain. Confused? Wait till you see the corkscrew plot. You'd think this sort of story would be easy to make.
And, as a capper, Depp is plainly being doubled in his big climactic sword fight with Rush, a fight that by genre requirements should have gone to Bloom. Heavy-handed fun.
We can be grateful, I suppose, that McG or Michael Bay didn't direct it.