The original story of the now ubiquitous franchise was an abject lesson in how to create a feelgood summer hit. It has no pretensions to being high art; it’s just a hugely entertaining romp that ticks all of the right boxes. Spectacular set pieces, great effects, likeable characters and a well written script that never patronises the audience. But we all know what really made this film and that’s Johnny Depp’s hilariously eccentric performance. We all love an anti-hero at the best of times, but what Depp brings to the film is a genuine sense of fun; something which is missing all too often from a studio system used to grinding out soulless formulaic blockbusters that completely lack the kind of magic that makes a film special. The final result here is a film that successfully lives up to the traditions of the classic Hollywood swashbuckler from Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Errol Flynn right through to Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
One of the most enjoyable family films you are ever likely to see.