Pirates! Band of Misfits is a film that I had wanted to see for quite some time after viewing the trailer. It appeared to be a light, breezy, deadpan style comedy mixed with some British dry wit. Plus, the Pirate Captain was going to be voiced by Hugh Grant, and I’ve always enjoyed what he brings to the table. Sad to report, this is an example of a film where all the good parts were shown in the trailer.
The Pirate Captain, voiced by Hugh Grant, leads a merry band of pirate misfits that are trying to flourish in the ways of the pirate. They often do not succeed, which leads to humorous results. There is a pirate of the year competition that the Pirate Captain hopes to win in order to prove all of his doubters wrong. Along the way, some mischief occurs, including a monkey butler that uses cue cards, an angry Queen Victoria , and a dodo bird named Polly. We also get some predictable voice work from Salma Hayek and Jeremy Piven. It’s basically Ari Gold as a pirate.
Pirates! Band of Misfits got off to a great start within the first five minutes, but then it just stayed on screen, dead in the water. I smiled here and there, but did not laugh or find myself caring about what was happening all that much. It all seemed rather irreverent and pointless. I understand it’s a children’s film, and it’s not meant to be groundbreaking or earth shattering in terms of plot. There needs to be a point however, and it seems as though they were only interested in taking the premise and milking it for an hour and twenty-eight minutes with no real rhyme or reason.
As a children’s film, I’m not exactly sure if young kids will respond to it. It’s not cutesy enough for children to enjoy, and it’s not funny enough or well-written enough for adults or young teens to enjoy. It fails on both levels. It does however have an entertaining, fun, and free-spirited last half hour that only teased me, as I was hoping for more of that. The last half hour of the film and the first five minutes were what I was hoping for and did not get. The film is wildly inconsistent.
I viewed this film in good old fashioned 2D, and I didn’t see anything in it that really warrants a 3D viewing. This is an example of a film where the cons outweigh the pros. The cons: forgettable voice work, meandering second half, and pointless plot. The pros: the last half hour and the soundtrack. I’d wait for it on TV, or rent it for a dollar at Redbox, if there is nothing else to choose from that particular weekend.
How should you see it: At Redbox