Ok so BEAR with me because this is going to probably be a WORLD’S FIRST! This is the first movie review EVER to be typed, edited, shot and uploaded via iPhone!!! How fun is technology?!
Now onto the movie.
Well, this is an Aardman Animations production, and at this point in age you pretty much know if you like their coy style of humor or not. I’ve yet to see either of their CG movies, but I’m pretty much a Wallace and Gromit FRE$K! Some of my earliest memories are watching those two go mucking about, making trouble. I didn’t love Chicken Run, but looking back on it now, it’s a much better movie than THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS.
- WHY DO THEY ALWAYS FUCKING LOOK LIKE THIS?
With PIRATES!, ehhhhhhh….it’s just sort of a mixed bag. It’s such a slight, middling movie that it’s really hard to have any sort of opinion on it. It’s very charming….and that’s about it. Aardman is essentially The Far Side brought to life via claymation. The sly little humor and clean character work is similar…the only problem is The Far Side is just a 365/day calendar and takes three seconds to take in and be done with. Sure, you’ll probably remember the kid PUSHING on the PULL door at the entrance of the ‘School for the Gifted’ for the rest of your life, but it was nice…simple….and done with. PIRATES! is full of those sort of jokes, strung together for 88 minutes with a bunch of British-word humor and a few action pieces. It’s easy and it serves a purpose. It’s like BREAD! THE MOVIE. There’s nothing really wrong with it. In fact, it’s probably a movie I’d love to fall asleep to every night for the rest of my life. It’s not too loud or annoying. It’s pleasant. The jokes won’t make you laugh yourself awake, and the model work is quite gorgeous. On the surface, it’s pretty lovely. It’s just so damn simple. It’s obviously aimed at children, but the humor is so coy, kids probably won’t laugh (the kids at my screening responded mostly to the visual gags, of course). Bits like the pirates stopping in France to get the ‘Duty Free’ booze before moving on to England went nowhere with the audience (that’s a sign of just how British it is), and that’s pretty much par for the course with Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit films. I only wish PIRATES! shared Wallace’s fun and climactic scope of action, as well as his humor. The action here is fine, again…everything looks amazing (can’t really stress that enough) and that’s about it. Most claymation films have a pretty flat look with their characters and background, this movie is very busy. If you’re a fan of the technique, you should see it for that alone.
In the end, the movie is just there. It’s not a ‘boy and his dog’ story or a ‘your friends are all you need’ story. It’s not a straight pirate story, and it’s not really a ‘believe in yourself’ story. It’s a little bit of all of that, but there isn’t one strong central theme it focuses on long enough to really resonate in your soul as the best children movies should. Also, there’s no romance (probably why Hugh was so excited to do the role) so that was interesting.
And there’s modern music (even a song from Flight of the Conchords), so that was….interesting too.
In the end, it’s just pure fluff. But pretty good fluff. I mean, I could probably watch this movie five times in a row and not realize it. I applaud Aardman for not shoehorning Wallace and Gromit cameos in there, as it seems to be the thing to do these days (and if they were in there and I missed them, then FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK AARDMAN!!!!!). After seeing this and the seven Jonathan Depp ‘Pirates’ movies, it’s made wonder if anyone could ever pull off a Hard-R/realistic pirate movie these days. I guess the budget it would require wouldn’t make sense with the rating it would end up with.
As for the 3D…well it’s clear, but it’s pretty useless, unless you like swords pointed at your fucking face every 5 minutes.
- Abom’s daughter Candy (in the choke-hold) partying with Hugh in Madrid, October 2011.
Sent from my HP Touchpad