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Review: The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Dry romp on the high seas
By TOM MEEK  |  April 24, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars



Peter Lord, animator behind claymation staples Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, directs this very British, very dry romp on the high seas during the time when Britannia did indeed rule the waves. The running joke is that Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant), a fussy swashbuckler more concerned with his "luxurious" beard than pillaging and looting, wants to be Pirate of the Year, but his ambition faces a major obstacle: his inept crew don't match up well with the top-of-the-line competition (Salma Hayek as Cutlass Liz among the lot). But for all its posturing (it's based on the books by Gideon Defoe, who also wrote the script) and visual élan, Pirates never really raises anchor. That despite outlandish cameos by Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria as villains (she hates pirates). Plus a dodo, a sassy Jane Austen, and even the Elephant Man shiver a few timbers as well.

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