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Sinbad: The Legend Of The Seven Seas Review

Image for Sinbad: The Legend Of The Seven Seas

Eris, the mischievous Goddess of Chaos, steals the Book of Peace and frames seafaring rogue Sinbad for the crime. When Sinbad’s estranged childhood friend Proteus begs to be executed in his pal’s place, the young pirate must race to rescue the book and hi

★★★★★

So, before Pirates Of The Caribbean weighs anchor next month, we have this pirate movie attempting to part you from your pieces of eight. A boys' own collection of giant monsters and swarthy seafaring outlaws, this is Dreamworks latest attempt to resuscitate the bloated, twitching body of traditional animation. And it's a decent stab, if not quite the phoenix from the ashes we might have hoped (it's telling that everything else Dreamworks currently have in production is fully CG).

The film begins rather hastily with Goddess of Chaos Eris (wrapped around the silky larynx of Pfeiffer) deciding to ruin Sinbad's day because, well, it's her job; she nicks some mystic book, cover the land in darkness and frames him for the crime.

The general rule for the rescue that follows seems to be 'never mind the reason, just bring in a monster'. Thankfully, then, these monsters are a particularly impressive bunch, making for great action sequences that stamp all over Disney's Treasure Planet - to which this bares a striking resemblance.

Two scenes in particular stand out: a race through raging rapids as harmonising sirens attempt to dash the ship against the rocks, and an escape from a giant bird with a hunger for more than a handful of Trill. The one criticism of the action segments is that the shiny, textural CG monsters make the traditionally animated lead characters look like the scribblings of a ham-fisted child next to a Michaelangelo.

The patches between the action lack life, as if the subplots are still sloshing around in someone's paint pot somewhere. Pitt's Sinbad is an engaging creation - a morally dubious cad rather than the usual bland do-gooder - as is Zeta Jones' short haired, trouser-wearing, proto-feminist - no constricting togas for this one. Yet aside from a couple of sparky exchanges, they're left adrift in a sea of mediocre support characters.

Yes, if you don’t mind sacrificing story for spectacle. Rather than try to compete with the superior imagery of computer animation, this would have done well to spend a little more time on the writing, a little less on the painting.

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