Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Arts

May 4, 2012

“Pirates: Band of Misfits” a trove of comedy gold

Movie Review

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — While the real joke in the beginning might have been to convert an amusement park ride into a blockbuster film franchise, the cinematic benefits of such an idea has been a reason to once again get romantically ignorant about piracy. If anything, before Depp helped Disney plunder wallets from sea to shining sea, we were starving in the past decade to yell “Arr” and such, which is why I was glad to see animation taking cutlass to it again as well.

Giving this selection almost guaranteed win is putting the clever chaps at Aardman, who to my biased opinion have never done wrong when it comes to silly claymation, in charge of the project. Sure, old Wallace and Gromit are the cream of their crop, but this may be the closest to genius they’ve come since creating those original meddling goofballs. “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” brings a a common man edge to a hilarious adventure sure to make young and old alike eager join the crew.

Set during the Victorian era, the story follows the not so successful life of Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) and his miserable quest to repeatedly try to win the Pirate of the Year Award. Much of his downward slope seems to just be bad luck when it comes to acquiring booty, reason enough to quit until he happens to run into the famous scientist, Charles Darwin (David Tennant).

It seems Mr. Captain has something Darwin sees fame and fortune in and despite objections by his first mate, Pirate with a Scarf (Martin Freeman), the crew heads off to not so pirate friendly London. What follows is a Monty Pythonesque sequence of events, including repeated run-ins with the royal meanie herself, Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton). When you aren’t entertained with the obvious in your face gags, there are plenty of subtle things to be enjoyed the in perhaps an unlimited number of viewings you’re sure to desire.

While it is sure to have an uphill battle against Pixar’s “Brave” come awards time (who almost can’t lose for best animated feature), I’d say this already has earned a place among the best of live or animated so far. Besides, if that’s not enough to convince more to see it, the main character does have a luxurious beard with which I can relate.

There’s little even to be offended by... unless you count the scene where the leper boat was changed to a plaque boat, removing the only complaint voiced before it was even out. So take the wee ones, take grandma and be sure to drink plenty of vitamin c heavy juice to prevent scurvy. Final verdict on “The Pirates! Band of Misfits:” four and a half out of five fat parrots.

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