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Review: Pirates! in an adventure with scientists!

April 6, 2012

Film + Entertainment | by Danny & Josh


Aardman animation is back on form with their fifth feature film and on returning to plasticine stop motion since ‘Chicken Run and ‘Curse of the Were-Rabbit’, worth five years in the making you can see why. Pirates! has the most originality in between Pixar and Dreamworks with all the painstaking attention to detail; every facial expression captured through moulding and thumb prints. Not forgetting the visual gags running in the background are all quite essentially British, the writers host jokes only those who have grown up in the UK will understand – things like the Blue Peter badge, custard creams and the derogatory term ‘boffins’ all make an appearance which will be lost on our American cousins.

Pirates! is based on Gideon Defoe’s comedy novels ‘The Pirates! In an adventure with..’ where an outkast crew of not-so-threatening swashbucklers – albino pirate (Rusell Tovy), pirate with gout (Brendan Gleeson), surprisingly curvaceous pirate (Ashley Jensen) and pirate with scarf (Martin Freeman) all led by their ham eating, luxuriantly bearded, not so street smart Pirate Captain voiced by Hugh Grant into unsuccessful pirating adventures.

This particular adventure see’s the crew competing for pirate of the year against the most famous and villainous pirates of the past two decades – Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry) Cutlass Liz (Salma Kayek) and Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) who makes his superstar entrance inside the gold stuffed mouth of a giant whale no less. When all seems hopeless, the Pirate Captain has a chance encounter with a love struck scientist, a little known Charles Darwin who has a hidden agenda…

Overall, the film is the most randomly put together feature I have seen since The Simpsons came to the big screen and this might warrant a very dizzy and confused audience between all the frantic intangible scenes of thrills and merriment, the film loses it’s focus. Even the soundtrack is at times a bit baffling; a mix of orchestral sailing the seven seas grandeur with post-punk ‘London Calling’ by The Clash. Nonetheless Pirates! is delightfully endearing and absolutely hilarious. Maybe it’s part of the eccentric English charm.

Watch ‘Pirates! In an adventure with Scientists’ in cinemas now.

Sufiyeh Hadian