Pirates aren’t my thing. I freely admit that. Musicals aren’t my thing either. The Pirate Movie combines the two with little wit and a lot of desperation and makes for a totally stupefying and amazingly painful 100 minutes. My wife gets a lot of shitty movies off of Netflix and while The Pirate Movie isn’t quite as bad as say, The Apple; it’s pretty bottom of the barrel in every way.
The flick is essentially yet another version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance (there were only about 700 other remakes of that damn play during the 80’s), except this time director Ken Annakin decided that Gilbert and Sullivan wouldn’t draw in the youngsters, so he hired some other jackass to add new pop songs into the mix. Next he put teen heartthrobs Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins into stupid pirate costumes and told them act annoying as possible and then said, “ACTION!” The resulting mess is preferable to having sea sickness, but not by much.
What really irked me about this movie (besides the lame musical numbers) was that the film is supposed to be one of those “It was all a dream” deals. You see, Kristy nearly drowns in the present day while windsurfing (don’t ask) and while she lays catatonic on the beach, the film becomes one long dream sequence that takes place in the 19th century. This may have been a semi-viable way to make a pirate movie relevant for the MTV generation, but Annakin just uses it as an excuse to toss in every kind of pop culture reference and unfunny joke imaginable. His defense is, “Hey, it’s all a dream so why not put an Indiana Jones impersonator in there?” The problem is, none of this is remotely funny and the film often resembles a dyslexic version of a Mad Magazine movie parody. Seriously folks; this movie is filled with sight gags for the blind.
There is only one good scene in the whole damn movie. That’s when Atkins turns his stupid old pirate sword into a badass lightsaber. (A GREEN one at that, which makes this movie kinda ahead of it’s time since green lightsabers weren’t introduced until the next year in Return of the Jedi.) As terrible as the rest of the movie is, any movie that features a lightsaber is worth at least ½ * in my book. Other than that, The Pirate Movie deserves a funeral at sea.