The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!

"Very Good"

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! Review


Aardman returns to hand-crafted clay-mation for this riotous seafaring romp.

The film is almost too crowded with witty visual and verbal gags to catch on a single viewing. Although it's also too corny to be a real classic.

The Pirate Captain (voiced by Grant) never gets any respect, especially with the Pirate of the Year competition gearing up. But his first mate (Freeman) and rag-tag crew (Tovey, Gleeson and Jenson) are fearlessly loyal. While accumulating plunder to win the award, they accidentally hijack a scientific ship and then travel with Charles Darwin (Tennant) to win a science prize in London. But this means that the crew needs to get dangerously close to venomous pirate-hater Queen Victoria (Staunton).

The continual assault of humour includes smart sight-gags and throwaway lines of dialog, some of which are so deranged that we can't quite believe what we've just heard. And along the way, the filmmakers play with every aspect of pirate lore including, most importantly, loyal parrot sidekick. The fact that Polly is clearly a dodo gives the plot its rather silly trajectory. There are also several hilarious nods to Victorian-era figures.

All of this gives the skilled animators plenty to work with, and the sets and costumes are packed with clever details. Combine this with the rapid-fire story, and it's impossible to get bored. On the other hand, the non-stop nuttiness might exhaust some viewers, especially since it often seems to come at the expense of coherent action and a more urgent plot. But it's blissfully enjoyable.

Indeed, the general chaos is a lot of fun, especially since the characters are so charming. As the Captain, Grant expertly combines blustering bravado with childlike joy. We understand why his crew members follow him like puppies, and as he faces a Big Moral Dilemma, we pretty much know where things will end up.

By contrast, the first mate and Darwin are a bit dull, although other side characters have distinct traits that are exploited hilariously by the script and animators. So even if the film is never much more than amiably amusing, it keeps us yo-ho-hoing right to the end.



Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 22nd August 2014

Box Office Worldwide: $118.3M

Budget: $60M

Production compaines: Sony Pictures Animation, Aardman Animations, Columbia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Julie Lockhart, ,

Starring: as Pirate Captain (voice), as The Pirate with Gout (voice), as Black Bellamy (voice), as The Pirate King (voice), as Cutlass Liz (voice), as Queen Victoria (voice), as The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (voice), as Charles Darwin (voice), as Peg Leg Hastings (voice), as The Pirate with a Scarf (voice), as The Albino Pirate (voice)

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Advertisement
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.