Pirates have long been romanticized bad guys. With distinctive clothing, accents, and the trappings of nautical life, they lend themselves to good stories. The imaginers who create rides at Disneyland broke new ground when they built a whole ride around them. Though many people in and outside the film industry were skeptical over the decision to make a full-length film on the ride, the Disney folks had the last laugh since 2003's "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" was a hit that launched a franchise that's next film is scheduled for release 2017.
The movie begins with a little girl, Elizabeth Swann, onboard a ship with her father (played by Jonathan Pryce), who is the governor, and the crew. They see a shipwreck and rescue a little boy, Will Turner, who survived. Elizabeth finds a piece of gold on him and takes it. Years later, Elizabeth (played by Keira Knightley) still has the gold piece. Will (played by Orlando Bloom) is now a blacksmith and is in love with her. But Commodore Norrington (played by Jack Davenport) is about to propose to her. At Norrington's promotion ceremony, a flamboyant pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp), is caught as he tries to steal a ship. That evening, a group of pirates led by Jack's former first-mate, Barbossa (played by Geoffrey Rush), come and create chaos. They abduct Elizabeth. Will finds Jack in jail and frees him so they can rescue her.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" has great special effects. Due to a curse, Barbossa and his crew turn into skeletons at moonlight. These characters are very well done, especially in the scene where they first reveal themselves to Elizabeth.
The cast is quite strong. Orlando Bloom does good work as Will, who is resourceful and determined, but also naïve. Keira Knightley is equally impressive as Elizabeth, his love interest. Johnny Depp steals the movie as Jack, who is drunk much of the time. Depp's work earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" is a great choice for fans of adventure films.