tek's rating: ¾

Cutthroat Island (PG-13)
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streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Vudu

Caution: spoilers.

This was a pretty major box office flop, which was also quite poorly received critically. And while I can sort of see why some people might think it's not exactly good, I personally liked it a lot. I mean, granted, some aspects of the movie are slightly cheesy, but for the most part, I thought it was pretty cool, and I feel like anyone who doesn't like it is just... wrong. It has lots of great action, and it's reasonably amusing, and, you know... it's a pirate movie. Done pretty much the way pirate movies are supposed to be done. Listen... I'm going to make a proclamation here: If you like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, you're not allowed to not like this. You're just not. Anyway, this came out in 1995. I honestly don't remember when I first saw it, if it was in a theater, on TV, or what. But I suppose it must have been in the 90s, anyway. And then... at some point I got the DVD, and I watched the movie for a second time, and apparently I didn't write a review. I have no idea how or why that could have happened, but it did. And more years passed, and finally, in 2013, I watched the movie for what must be the third time, and this time I'm writing a review.

So, it's set in and around Jamaica, in 1668. Geena Davis plays a pirate named Morgan Adams. I guess at some point in the past, her grandfather (also a pirate) had stolen this huge treasure, and hidden it on Cutthroat Island. And now... there are these three pieces of a map to the treasure. And there are these four brothers, one of whom is Morgan's father, Harry Adams. He's been captured by his brother, Dawg Brown (who for no apparent reason seems to have a different last name than Harry). Dawg had recently acquired one piece of the map from another brother, who I guess died before the movie started, so we never saw him. And now Dawg wants Harry's piece, but Morgan rescues him just before he dies, and he gives her his piece of the map (which he'd hidden in a way that was pretty gross, but also allowed him to have made a somewhat amusing comment when he was talking to Dawg, earlier). Harry also told her his ship, the Morning Star, was hers now. So she went to become its new captain, along with her two faithful mates, Mr. Glasspoole and Bowen (the latter of whom was played by Chris Masterson, who'd later appear on Malcolm in the Middle). There's some trouble on the ship, because another member of the crew, Scully, wanted to become captain, himself. But the quartermaster, Mr. Blair, decides to give Morgan a chance to prove herself, so the crew accepts her.

The first thing they have to do is find someone to translate the map, which is written in Latin. And apparently the only person they could find was a thief named William Shaw, who had recently been arrested, and was being sold as a slave. Morgan goes to buy him, but ends up being chased by the army. (The army is under the command of Governor Ainslee, whose lackey is a lieutenant named Trotter.) Morgan and Shaw manage to get away, and then they go to find Morgan's uncle, Mordechai, who has the third piece of the map. But when they get there, Dawg and his men are waiting to ambush them. Again Morgan manages to escape, and Shaw manages to obtain Mordechai's piece of the map.

So... the Morning Star crew head toward Cutthroat Island to find the treasure, while being pursued by Dawg's ship, the Reaper. Oh, and there's a writer named John Reed (played by Maury Chaykin, who I know best from Nero Wolfe), who's been traveling with Morgan as research for a book he's writing about pirates. But Ainslee makes some threats that pretty much force him to help the army find Morgan. And of course, Scully ultimately leads a mutiny against Morgan, Glasspoole, Bowen, and Blair. And there's an eventual team-up of various factions, and um... the treasure is eventually found, and there's lots of fighting, and stuff. I don't want to say how it all ends, but it's definitely a really fun movie. Not a great movie, but a good one, and I'm kind of angry that it gets a bad rap.


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