OPENS AUGUST 8, CERT 12A, 140 MINS
You wouldn’t expect a movie based on a theme park attraction to be the summer’s surprise blockbuster hit, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Mouse Hunt director Gore Verbinski have delivered a multiplex gem, thanks largely to Johnny Depp’s inspired performance as pirate captain Jack Sparrow, blatantly?and hilariously?impersonating Keith Richards circa 1972.
Sparrow is hired by a dashing but sensitive blacksmith (Orlando Bloom) to rescue his girlfriend (Keira Knightley) from the clutches of evil pirate Captain Barbarossa (Geoffrey Rush), whose taken her prisoner aboard his ship, The Black Pearl.
The Black Pearl is Sparrow’s old ship, and Barbarossa has doomed its crew to damnation as zombies by stealing cursed Aztec gold. Sparrow, naturally, wants revenge. The bad news is that, at 140 minutes, this is way too long and drags in the middle. The good news is that when it’s under full sail, it’ll swash yer buckle.