The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Aardman's Best Yet
I've never quite enjoyed Aardman's work as much as critics. At least, not their full-length films. That's not to say I haven't liked them; I've liked them, but I certainly haven't loved them. Pirates: Band Of Misfits is different, though. This movie, I did love.
None of the primary pirates are given names; their descriptions in the credits are "The Pirate With The Scarf," "The Pirate With Gout," etc., which makes this plot description a little difficult to write.
The protagonist, Pirate Captain (no really, that's his name) is determined to win the pirate of the year contest. The problem; he's not a very good pirate. And with his competition being so strong, it appears the odds are against him. At least, that's what he thinks. It turns out, his trusty, rotund parrot is a rare dodo bird, thought to be extinct. There may be some booty in this after all. That is, if Charles Darwin or The Queen doesn't snatch it first.
The Pirates Band Of Misfits is a fun, and often hilarious film. There are so many sight gags that a second or even third viewing may be necessary to catch them all.
This is also, Aardman's most visually stunning work. It's miles ahead of any of their previous films, and there are lots of complex crowd scenes that are truly amazing. In previous films, Aardman purposefully left revealing finger-prints on the characters. Those who found this distracting will be pleased to know that Aardman has avoided doing this here.
Not all characters get as much screen time as they should, but they're an amusing bunch, with (for the most part) well-defined personalities.
As I mentioned earlier, there are lots of sight gags, but dialogue-oriented lines are here too. They're the witty and chuckle-inducing lines that we have come to expect from Aardman, and in much more generous amounts than in previous films.
Unfortunately, Pirates: Band Of Misfits added lots of lyrical songs (playing in the background) that are usually annoying. I would've much preferred that the score continued to play during some of these scenes, because they're really are too many songs in the background.
And speaking of the score, it was a little disappointing. Pirates are good music material, but the score, for the most part, is very mediocre. Then again, Aardman isn't known for their instrumentals.
Flaws aside, The Pirates: Band Of Misfits is funny and witty, with wonderful animation and a cast of amusing characters. This is certainly Aardman's best film, thus far. Hopefully, it will only get better from here.