The above plot encapsulation is useless. There’s way too much story, backstory and hearsay here. At least a lot of the bramblish exposition is told in salty sea dog slang by grizzled, rum soaked lags. It gets in the way of all the daft swashbuckling and spooky effects that busy the romp. Not that this film needs all that pomp and dazzle. Depp is what makes it. Quirky, camp, untrustworthy – Jack Sparrow is his signature role. Whenever he’s on screen the film ignites with anarchy and cool. For years Hollywood struggled to capitalise on his fame, beauty and otherworldliness. Finally the blockbuster came along where the planets briefly aligned and he mega hit. Like the lazier sequels, bloat does creep into the final act though. The shapes of things to come for this unexpectedly popular franchise. But the first one is a colourful treat even now. And that striving shanty score by Klaus Badelt is a true rebel rouser.
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We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/