He first leapt to stardom as teenybopper catnip on the US television series 21 Jump Street, but Johnny Depp has since mapped out one of the most idiosyncratic résumés of moviedom's A-list, channeling his charisma - or bravely burying it altogether - in audaciously stylised performances for Tim Burton, Jim Jarmusch and fellow expat Terry Gilliam. So fans may blanch when Jerry Bruckheimer takes a break from producing ads for the Pentagon to produce one for Disneyland and signs Depp as lead pitchman. And, egad, it's a pirate flick - a genre as doomed as the titular Black Pearl or Gilliam's quest to adapt Don Quixote. Yet our Depp invests this overfed, action-tractioned swashbuckler with a voluptuous wit and spry spontaneity it surely doesn't deserve. Resplendent in beaded dreadlocks and kohl, he plays Captain Jack Sparrow as a purring East End dandy. The plot? Jack forges an uneasy alliance with an earnest blacksmith (Bloom) to thwart a gang of hexed buccaneers headed by nefarious Barbossa (Rush), who've kidnapped a fair maiden (Knightley) in a bid to lift an Aztec curse. The plodding procession of CGI-aided fight sequences leaves less and less room for Depp to wriggle, but when the actor's on screen he singlehandedly makes the film not only bearable but - dare we say it? - recommendable. JWin.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio|
Kevin R McNally