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Morgan Adams' father's dying gifts to her are his pirate ship and a one-third part of a map of a treasure island - unusually inscribed on his scalp. Thinking herself in need of a Latin scholar to unravel the map, she buys learned slave William Shaw and sets off in search of the rest of the map. However, it is Shaw, obviously with plans of his own, who gets the second part. He's somewhat easier to deal with, though, than the holder of the last part - Morgan's less-than-loving piratical uncle Dawg.
Morgan Adams and her slave, William Shaw, are on a quest to recover the three portions of a treasure map. Unfortunately, the final portion is held by her murderous uncle, Dawg. Her crew is skeptical of her leadership abilities, so she must complete her quest before they mutiny against her. This is made yet more difficult by the efforts of the British crown to end her piratical raids.
This film would have been excellent if it hadn't been for Geena Davis. She is totally unconvincing as the pirate captain Morgan. Sure she is nice to look at but that's about as far as it goes. Davis is an ok supporting actress but when a film relies upon her armature acting skills to carry it you can bet its going down the drain very quickly indeed.<br/><br/>On a positive not there were many excellent things about this film as well. Beautiful sets, costumes and support characters, namely Shaw and Maddog. Exciting action and a fast pace make for an exciting romp. If only the Producers had given the lead to someone other than Davis this film may well have become a classic.<br/><br/>6-10
Sometimes when trying to say something it is good to be blunt and right to the point very quickly. So I'll do that. This movie is simply a spectacular blast of sheer action and adventure. Another way to put it would be that it is Pirates of the Caribbean, but 8 years earlier and with a female lead. Maybe it took some years until Tomb Raider came out that big budget action-fest could be seen as having a woman hero. Also pirates was a rare action movie setting. One infamous effort, Roman Polanski's film simply titled "Pirates" ended up being a disaster and the topic of pirates may have very well been cursed. Until the Curse of the Black Pearl, that is.<br/><br/>Maybe cursed isn't the best way to put it, but when a spectacular and well made action movie like this goes completely unnoticed only to be repeated 8 years later with great success sounds like it just may be a curse.<br/><br/>And spectacular this movie is with awesome action sequences that have the slow-motion grace of Peckinpah, though without his grimness. And it is all done with minimal 1995-era CGI yet packs some truly spectacular explosions that have yet to be matched using computer graphics. Also slow-motion is something vastly under-used in movies today that prefer shaky-cam and quick cutting. Renny Harlin is a master of the art yet after his 1990 hit Die Hard 2, he never quite had a series of financially rewarding films despite being able to make some of the best action sequences ever to grace the screen. It could be because, unlike Pirates of the Caribbean, Cutthroat Island doesn't have quite the same fantasy light-hearted tone. It is more akin to Indiana Jones. Meaning there is blood and general badassness throughout. Pirates were after all ruthless people and this film shows this much more than PotC yet remains fun throughout.<br/><br/>And the climatic battle is a knock-out scene that tops anything and everything in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. –- 9/10<br/><br/>BsCDb Classification: PG –- violence
Renny Harlin's big, chaotic pirate flick is best understood as an attempt to revive the waning career of his wife, Geena Davis, but he's done her no great favor. As Morgan Adams, a sort of distaff Errol Flynn, poor Geena gets lost in a hectic scenario that's littlemore than an excuse for a series of thunderous explosions, clanky sword battles and run-of-the-mill spectacular stunts.
In order to get the PG rating for the theatrical release, more than a minute had to be removed, four more seconds got lost on the VHS release. Something that is also very interesting about the British VHS are the many instances of audio censorships. Punches, kicks and other fight audio effects were partially removed or just turned down in volume. This usually does not even catch the viewer's ear, however, all in all a certain censoring method can be made out. Interestingly enough, not a single one of these changes were applied to the British DVD version.<br/><br/>When the DVD was released in 2003, it would have been possible to release it uncut with the BBFC 15 rating, but the producers decided against it. The version that was given to the BBFC was already censored. Some of the previously cut scenes were put back into the movie, but others were removed instead. Still, one more scene (a headbutt) had to be removed in order to have the censoring agency let the film pass through without complaints.
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