Once again South Korean Cinema takes on a western genre film and gives it new life; Just like they have done in the past with movies like Thieves, Private Eye and the good, the bad and the weird. In the movie PIRATES, they find new clever ways to revitalize the pirate genre. It captures the fun times I had with the first pirate of the Caribbean movie; this movie should be called the pirates of the yellow sea.
Pirates follow multiple storylines; one is Jang Sa-Jung (Kim Nam-gil) a former officer in the Korean army who left the army after he is disgusted by the high level of corruption in the army. He decides to become a mountain bandit. These mountain bandits are the majority of the comic relief as they are a bumbling group of pirates. One of them gets the most laughs in the movie he is a former pirate that is tired of suffering from sea sickness in the high seas and decides to join this gang of mountain bandits.
The other is of pirates under the leadership of Yeo-wol (Son Yen-ji) who recently lead a mutiny against their former Tyrannical Captain So-ma (Lee Geung-young). Captain Yeo-wol is a fierce pirate whose exploit have won the loyalty of her crew. She makes look like a pretty flower, but she is a fierce fighter. Captain Soma plays one of those bad guys has such charm that he makes you like him even though he is very evil. He dismembers his enemies with a twinkle in his eye.
The last story is the Imperial Navy the opponents of these pirates. They are led by a disgrace officer that is trying to gain good grace in the imperial court. He has deep hatred for Sa-Jung who caused his fall of grace in the imperial forces.
All this groups’ end up coming together after a ship carrying the Ming Imperial Seal is sunk by a humpback whale and the whale also eats the seal. Now all this groups are on a race to find the whale and obtain the seal. This becomes the driving force for all of them to try to go against each other.
Pirates is a great family movie with high adventure. The movie has the spirit of Hollywood pirate movie from the 30’s; It does not take itself too seriously and knows a pirate movie must be really fun. There are great action pieces one them includes a waterwheel and explosives that cause the destruction of half a coastal town. It features great clashes between ships on the high seas, which show us great swordfights.
This is the most fun I had in a South Korean adventure film since the good, the bad and the weird. I highly recommend to not just fans of South Korean cinema, but if you love pirate’s movies, you should see Pirates. Pirates is now available starting on September 14.