The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
Reviewed on 2013 January 31
This Ardman Studios comedy isn’t as effective as the Wallace and Gromit movies or Chicken Run, but it’s still pretty funny.
The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant, not doing that “charming” fake stammer thing for once) is something of a legend in his own mind, but at least he’s revered by his own crew. His second-in-command, The Pirate with a Scarf (Martin Freeman), quietly supports the dim but well-meaning captain. For his part, Captain treats his crew well and seems to enjoy spoiling their ship mascot more than swashbuckling.
Captain has two main issues. The first is an obdurate Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton), who despises pirates and slaps a bounty on the head of any who venture too near England. The other is a more personal thorn in his side: he very much wants to win the Pirate of the Year Award, but he hasn’t a chance. The riches stolen by such cut-throats as Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) outweigh any swag stolen by Captain and his rag-tag crew, until an unusual opportunity presents itself in London. The Pirate with a Scarf has reservations; the Captain stubbornly forges ahead.
Mr. Shukti thought it was absolutely hilarious. He enjoyed it more than me, but I still got a kick out of it, especially the introduction of the rival pirates — the idea of pirates acting like cliques of high schoolers is a great gag in itself — and the clever anachronisms like the bling necklace on Liz. I felt like it was almost a little forced and the ’80s-style ska music, pretty good stuff on its own, distracted me as a soundtrack choice.
Two chocolate morsels, and some ham.