Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)
Rating: 4.1/5 stars
What was thought to be a jiggery-pokery "Pirates of the Caribbean" rip-off, actually ended up being terrific entertainment and quite original to boot, and something the glitzy, insipid sequels of the Depp-led Pirate films should have been more like. On the eve of the founding of the Korean Joseon Dynasty, a gray whale swallows the Emperor's Seal of State being brought to Joseon by envoys from China. With a big reward on whoever brings back the royal seal, mountain bandits led by Jang Sa-jung (Nam-gil Kim) go out to sea to hunt down the whale. But he soon clashes with Yeo-wol (Ye-jin Son), a female pirate captain, and unexpected adventure unfolds.
The direction by Seok-hoon Lee was fantastic; the cinematography by veteran D.O.P., Young-Ho Kim, was brilliant, and integrated with the story beautifully; the special effects were more than decent considering the budget; the acting was above par; the sight gags and some of the dialogues were downright hilarious; Ji-ah Kim's sets and Yoo-jin Kwon's costumes were breathtaking; and above all, the action scenes were nothing short of spellbinding. One of those movies where everything just falls into place and blends neatly together as a one cohesive unit to provide spectacular entertainment.
I'll even go as far as stating that it's quite possibly, among the top five most pulsating, adrenaline-pumping, humor-laden, adventure- riddled, fun-filled, action-bonanza romp I've had in years. This Korean film simply titled, "The Pirates" is the real deal as far as action-adventurers go.