Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists (2012)

The latest Aardman film follows a group of pirates as they help their Captain (inventively called The Pirate Captain) win the covetous Pirate of the Year award.  This is achieved via meeting Charles Darwin, Queen Victoria and discovering that the ship's parrot Polly is actually a Dodo!  Being Aardman, the jokes are fairly constant and more often than not very daft; from the initial argument between two pirates as to whether the looting or cutlasses are the best things about being a pirate; to the "Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate", a female pirate with a sponge for a beard.

Of course all of the animation is top notch, and the amount of detail in almost every scene is phenomenal; it's just a shame that you can't pause the film in the cinema to take it all in.  The voice acting is also excellent and perfectly cast.  Of particular note are Hugh Grant as The Pirate Captain, Martin Freeman and the Pirate with the Scarf, Brendan Gleeson as the Pirate with Gout and David Tennant as Charles Darwin.

Despite everything being as good as you would expect from Aardman, I found my eyes struggling to stay open after a while, as did my wife.  This wasn't due to a hard day at work either because I hadn't been to work.  I think after a great setup but before the climax, the middle of the film kind of dragged a bit.  This is no Wrong Trousers or Close Shave, and it's difficult to keep up that quality and frenetic pace for a full 90 minutes.  Despite these minor pacing issues "Pirates!" is still mostly great fun; typical whacky characters, ludicrous situations, great voices and incredible detail.