Roman Polanski is a fish out of water in this high seas mess that sinks early. Lurching between comedy and drama it never gets much of a footing as it erratically veers off course for two hours. Adrift at sea Captain Red and Jean Baptiste save their lives by crawling onto a Spanish galleon displaying poor manners and get themselves tossed in the brig. On board the ship is a gold throne that Red is determined to take ownership of once he gets the crew to mutiny. Sumptuously photographed with a lush set design Polanski stumbles through it all setting an inconsistent tone from the outset as he attempts to give it a Terry Gilliam dark humor that seems beyond his grasp. A bit of a disappointment given the suspense director made the very funny Fearless Vampire Killers in his younger days with a dark comic wit that took the Dracula theme in a totally different direction. Here he allows things to drag and his comic timing is woefully late. Matthau as Red is decent enough to deserve a better script but overall performances are heavy handed, scene after scene lacks rhythm and a slap happy music score does it no favors. Pirates is one scattered disaster of a picture. Scuttle this scow.
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The adventures of pirate Captain Red and his first mate Frog.
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April 13, 2019