When Booty Calls

Johnny Depp excels in highly entertaining Bruckheimer blockbuster

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In a part he’s brilliantly based on the buccaneering dash of Keith Richards, Johnny Depp gives the most colourfully entertaining screen performance of the year in Jerry Bruckheimer’s hugely enjoyable swashbuckler. Based somewhat unpromisingly on the Disney theme-park ride, Pirates… has, in fact, everything you’d want from this kind of adventure yarn. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley make a handsome pair of star-crossed lovers, Geoffrey Rush is terrific as the mutineer Barbossa, a perfectly hissable eyeball-rolling villain and the leader of a crew of pirates doomed to undead damnation by a particularly unpleasant Aztec curse. There are rip-roaring sea battles, tremendous sword fights, spectacular special effects?and, of course, Depp as the roguish pirate captain Jack Sparrow, by turns duplicitous, gallant, ruthless and hopelessly romantic. You can’t take your eyes off him, and whenever he’s on screen, the film enters a different dimension altogether.

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