The film opens with promise. Little Elizabeth witnesses a shipwreck and spots a lone survivor, Will Turner. Many years later, Little Elizabeth has become the govenor's daughter (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is a blacksmith's apprentice. When the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) arrives in port, the plot supposedly begins.
The shipwreck that the children witnessed years before was caused by Villianous Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and his ghostly crew. This haunted crew of the Black Pearl is seeking a gold medallion and the blood of Will Turner. Through mistaken identity, Elizabeth is kidnapped by Captain Barbossa and the Carribbean sea chase begins. Captain Jack Sparrow is a mercenary who plays both Barbossa and Will Turner against each other.
Much has been said about Johnny Depp's rock star interpetation of a Carribbean pirate. Depp gives an adequate performance that relys on gifted comedic timing. Given his work on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, young Orlando Bloom is a likeable swashbuckler in the Tyrone Power/Errol Flynn mold. Geoffrey Rush is too likeable to be taken seriously as the film's primary villian. Keira Knightley is the pretty treasure in this movie and she gives a sincere performance.
Being a Jerry Bruckheimber production, the ticket purchaser can expect a flurry of outrageous action, hammy acting and many crowd scenes of people shouting. This film suffers from overkill and too many repetitive scenes of swordfighting at night . The idea of featuring the skeleton warriors battling mortal man had potential, but too much surpise is given away early on.
There needed to be more tall ships on the open sea and Director Gore Verbinski missed an opportunity to present the majestry of these grand ships. The one sea battle between these ships becomes mired by questionable editing choices and a lack of focus.
This is the second Walt Disney film to be based on their theme ride. "The Country Bears" was the first and "The Haunted Mansion," to be released in November, may be the last if the studio executives do not hire more competent screenwriters. "The Pirates of the Carribbean : The Curse of the Black Pearl" needed to be more seaworthy with less reliance on special effects.