THE PIRATES – A Review by John Strange

By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: LEE Seok-hoon
Cast: KIM Nam-gil, SON Ye-jin, YOO Hae-jin, LEE Kyeong-yeong, KIM Tae-woo, PARK Chul-min, OH Dal-su
MPAA Rating: NR
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 130 Min.
Korean with English Subtitles
It is the birth of the Joseon Dynasty, the future ruler is waiting for the royal seal and name for the country to arrive from the Ming rulers.  The ship transporting the couriers is waylaid by pirates but the real surprise is that the seal is not stolen; it is eaten by a whale!
The couriers fear that telling the truth about the loss will cause them to lose their heads.  A whole Pirates of the Caribbean-style cascade of adventures begins as the orders go out that someone must find the “pirates” who have stolen the seal and recover it.  Not only pirates but bandits from the hills get into the act racing the royal sailors to find the whale first; all for the chance at riches and power that are the expected reward for delivering the seal.
This is a swashbuckling adventure with a large dose of humor seasoning.  Just like Pirates, there are subplots within subplots as the various main characters face their demons and their enemies.  Enemies team up against mutual enemies until at the end all have merged into two groups fighting each other for the prize.
This is a fun watch.  The balance of action and humor are finely balanced and tuned to perfection.  Get your popcorn and soda, sit back and enjoy this ride!
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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