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02 July 2012 @ 08:22 pm
Movie: The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)  
Summary taken from Movie Harpy: Pirate captain Pirate Captain leads his rag-tag group of amateur pirates into the high seas in search for adventure, only to spend more time with the simple pleasures of sea life, like Ham Nite ("It's like a meat ballet!"), and less time doing any looting or plundering. But Pirate Captain and his buccaneers are content, until it's time for the annual Pirate of the Year award. The award has eluded Pirate Captain for 20 years, and seeing the other competitors' booty discourages him from applying again. Taunted and mocked by rival pirates, Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz, Pirate Captain finds himself forced into the competition and hopelessly trying to pillage ship after ship with no treasures to show for it. Desperation leads Pirate Captain to do the unthinkable and give up his beloved Polly, and ends up losing everything he holds dear. Realizing his mistakes, he must now act swiftly to save Polly and return to the important things in life. Like ham.

Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise have come to define 'pirate movie' to a generation, and while I'm delighted with the adventures of Captain Jack I also wouldn't say no to a different take on the swashbucklers of the high seas. When I found out that Aardman Animations was making a pirate feature, my first reaction was bafflement: “Wallace and Gromit do pirates?” But I was willing to give them a shot – goodness knows, they've made me laugh before.

I love that the the major villain is Queen Victoria, assisted by the terribly, terribly confused Charles Darwin. Darwin was such a creepy, cringing weirdo who used his knowledge of science to train a chimpanzee butler. Wouldn't you? The fact that he was voiced by David Tennant seemed perfect, too; I hear does a brilliant Doctor but I've only ever seen him in crazy roles like Bartie Crouch in Harry Potter, so playing a slightly unbalanced scientist is right up his alley. Queen Victoria and her anti-pirate crusade was totally fun.

But of course, it's the pirates that we ultimately care about. I adored the Pirate Captain – he's that perfect blend of dotty and ditzy that we love in pirate leads. His crew is a motley collection of random tropes: The Albino One, The Cross-dressing One, and so on and so forth. But they work together and compliment each other well; collectively the crew has a much stronger presence than their POTC counterparts, balancing their captain instead of being overshadowed by him.

It's a much sillier take on pirates, but every bit as adventurous and fun as a great pirate movie should be.