|2012||88 Min||Family . Comedy . Animation . Adventure|
In The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!
|Actors:||Jeremy Piven , Brendan Gleeson , Hugh Grant , Brian Blessed , Salma Hayek , Imelda Staunton , Ashley Jensen , David Tennant , Lenny Henry , Martin Freeman|
The movie is a curiosity cabinet of visual pleasures but so breezy and lightly funny that you may not realize at first how good it is.
May be far more ragtag than swashbuckling, but the film is sure-footed, witty and zany fun.
You can almost smell the brine in the boat helmed by Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) on his quest to win Pirate of the Year.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits is one of the funniest animated films in years, or to put it in terms you scallywags can understand: it's a treasure trove of laughs.
A clever piece of business that is a complete pleasure to experience.
The lunacy begins early in The Pirates! Band of Misfits and never lets up.
No one else has come close to translating England's homegrown blend of deadpan and madcap for a younger audience, much less with such impressive Claymated technique. You couldn't ask for better lesson in "Anglo-Absurdism for Beginners."
It is effortlessly and unassumingly funny – and terrifically smart.
Another Aardman triumph. The animation house's most technically ambitious project so far and, if not quite at the genius level of Wallace & Gromit, still a comedy treasure and far too good just for kids.
A delightful romp whose varied pleasures should please kids all along the age spectrum.
Although this family-friendly tale of feckless adventurers pursuing a prize is consistently funnier than "Arthur," in language, humor and attitude it's as endearingly British as Yorkshire pudding, soccer hooliganism and wonky teeth.
Barely a moment goes by without a well-orchestrated joke (or three), and it's paced as briskly as a clipper in front of a stiff tailwind.
The biggest thrill for this mild-mannered crew isn't plundering or plank-walking, but Ham Night.
Designed to please all generations of irreverent humour-lovers, The Pirates! Band of Misfits may not be heart-warming (it is about nasty, scurvy pirates!) but it's breezy rollicking fun.
That the film happens to be in 3-D, with digitized settings and backgrounds, doesn't detract from the timeworn charm of watching blob-like characters lurch erratically through harebrained comic pratfalls.
The movie could also teach something to the makers of "Pirates of the Caribbean" about delivering a story quirky enough to actually stick with you.
It's better at being droll than laugh-out-loud funny.
Uneven but rollicking, The Pirates! has a personality to call its own.
Pirates! comes with all the usual Aardman strengths intact, particularly the sense that its characters and creators alike are too good-hearted and sweet to nitpick.
The movie's memorable moments involve a silently expressive dodo bird and "man-panzee," stealing the show from human caricatures acting silly.
Suffused with satire, wit, and the dry, tongue-in-cheek flavor of comedy one rarely finds in American productions, this stop-motion animated excursion pokes fun at pirate conventions while representing icons Queen Victoria and Charles Darwin as a bitch and a twit, respectively.
It's all rather casual - not unengaging, exactly, but lacking a narrative energy all its own.
A cheerful entertainment, suitable for kids and parents of the brighter stripe. It's just not Nick Park great.
A script that consistently finds fresh outlets for its running gags makes for a sufficiently rollicking pleasure cruise.
Better use should have been made of the voice talent provided by Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, and Lenny Henry than the meager cameos their characters have. But no one here needs to walk the plank.
The movie is missing the zippy chases and lovable characters of Aardman studio's previous films ("Arthur Christmas," "Chicken Run").
Like many Aardman films, The Pirates! is awash with silliness. There are far more fleeting visual jokes than one can possibly digest in a single viewing. It makes for an experience that, while geared toward younger, more fidgety audiences, has enough humor to keep Mom and Dad from falling asleep.
The claymation visuals are charming, and an enthusiastic, if somewhat underused, cast works hard to sell the better jokes (though the funniest gag is a silent monkey butler).
Though we'd love to see how Aardman handle Defoe's followup, An Adventure With Communists, this amiable but overstretched diversion is unlikely to spawn a Caribbean franchise.
The film is content as it is to run clever one-liners and 19th-century pop-cultural references into the same comedic whirlpool.
What you won't find amid the clashing cutlasses and flashing foils, however, is anything resembling a rapier wit.
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