The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) Movie Review
Jeff Newitt (co-director)
Written by: Gideon Defoe
Hugh Grant The Pirate Captain (voice)
Martin Freeman - The Pirate with a Scarf (voice)
Imelda Staunton - Queen Victoria (voice)
David Tennant - Charles Darwin (voice)
Jeremy Piven - Black Bellamy (voice)
Salma Hayek - Cutlass Liz (voice)
Lenny Henry - Peg Leg Hastings (voice)
Brian Blessed - The Pirate King (voice)
Anton Yelchin - The Albino Pirate (voice:US version)
Brendan Gleeson - The Pirate with Gout (voice)
Ashley Jensen - The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (voice)
Al Roker - The Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens (voice: US version)
The Pirates! Band of Misfits was one of my most anticipated films of the year, and, thanks to its bizarre sense of humor, it definitely reached my expectations.
The film follows the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant), and he is the sarcastic captain of a group of rather stupid pirate shipmates, with odd names such as The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate, The Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens, and The Pirate with Gout.
They are all terrible at being pirates, but they love being pirates and, every year, they enter the most prestigious pirate award of the year, Pirate of the Year. Problem is their competition is better than them. Their competition includes Peg Leg Hastings (Lenny Henry), Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) and Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven). Even after seeing who he's against, The Pirate Captain is determined to get lots of booty and win the award.
So, he goes plundering, and, after several terribly unsuccessful plunders (from which he gets no gold), he comes aboard a scientist ship, with Charles Darwin (David Tennant) on board. Right as Charles Darwin is about to be thrown off the plank, he gets saved by telling The Pirate Captain that his "parrot", Polly, is actually the last surviving dodo bird. He tells the Pirate Captain that, with Polly, he could get 'untold riches'.
So, to get these 'untold riches', the Pirate Captain has to enter Polly in a science competition, which would risk their being seen by Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton), who simply can't stand pirates.
The best thing about the movie was definitely its fantastic sense of humor. I loved how there were so many background jokes. For example, in the Pirate Captain's room there is a picture of the Pirate Captain arm-wrestling a chubby pig with a tattoo on its left arm. The slapstick and oral jokes were hilarious as well.
Another strong point for The Pirates! Band of Misfits, is their characters. Yes, they occasionally go over the top, but, in general, I found the characters to be funny, original, and well-acted. My favorite character, by far, in the film was the Monkey Butler of Charles Darwin. The monkey uses cards with words on them to communicate with people, and it is so funny. At one point, when he is falling down a hole, he throws a bunch of cards up vertically. The top 5 or so have the letter 'A' on them, and the last one was has the letter 'H' with an exclamation mark.
Another great thing about the Pirates! Band of Misfits was the animation. Claymation is always fun to look at, but, in films like Chicken Run, the animation (especially the talking) was rather jerky. However, in this movie, everything was as fluid as CGI.
Unfortunately, this movie wasn't flawless; the main problem with the film was that it was occasionally over the top. I can't really give you any examples without spoiling several jokes, but I will say that there is one thing that Charles Darwin wants more than anything else, and there are many jokes made about it. Those jokes are sometimes very, very funny, but they are also often poor.
But, in spite of that, I thoroughly enjoyed Pirates! Band of Misfits, and would definitely recommend that you watch it.