• Hae-jeok: Ba-da-ro gan san-jeok / The Pirates (2014) - Back to the classic ingredients of an entertaining pirate movie - 9/10 (10/02/17)

    Hae-jeok: Ba-da-ro gan san-jeok / The Pirates (2014)

    "The Pirates" is an entertaining and epic South Korean comedy-action film in the key of "Cutthroat Island" and "Pirates of the Caribbean". It tells the fictional tale of several groups looking for the precious and significant Ming Emperor's Seal of State which was swallowed by a giant whale. A group of mountain bandits led by a former soldier and rebel, a righteous group of pirates led by the smart woman Yeo-wol and an evil group of pirates that teams up with a pitiless army clash on their quest for fame, redemption and wealth.

    Even though the story is rather predictable, the acting performances are spectacular enough to get the viewers emotionally involved. Especially Son Ye-jin convinces as tough female pirate with a strong moral compass. The various settings from spectacular fight scenes in a military camp over vivid chase sequences in a coastal village to spectacular naval battles make this movie a gripping roller-coaster ride. The colourful costumes only add to this and bring the fourteenth century to life in a mostly genuine way. The special effects are slightly exaggerated but nevertheless well-executed and the deep-sea sequences involving whales are beautiful and ethereal. This potpourri of stunning elements makes this film one of the best pirate movies in a very long time without reinventing the genre but rather focusing on its strengths in form of spectacular settings, breathtaking effects and solid acting performances.

    Genre fans should ignore the uninspired sequels of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise that are childish and hollow slapstick spectacles. "The Pirates" is a creative, diversified and energizing film that offers something for every taste including spectacular fight scenes, dramatic and emotional passages, romantic relationships, some sinister suspense and a balanced dose of humoristic elements. Get your rum ready, get together with some of your friends and enjoy this stylish blockbuster with a smile upon your face.

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