Sinbad – Legend Of The Seven Seas

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Cast:
Brad Pitt as Sinbad (voice)
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marina (voice)
Michelle Pfeiffer as Eris (voice)
Joseph Fiennes as Proteus (voice)
Dennis Haysbert as Kale (voice)

Summary:
Funny and action packed, Sinbad is an entertaining film for both kids and adults.

Story:
Based on the character from Arabian Nights, Sinbad is a selfish pirate and adventurer with a hidden heart of gold. Sailing the seas with his crew, he sets out to steal treasure from passing ships. However, when he tries to steal the magical “Book Of Peace” from his former friend Prince Proteus, he ends up being tangled into a plot by Eris, the goddess of chaos. She convinces Sinbad to steal the book for her but, of course, ends up double-crossing him. Sinbad is caught and sentenced to death.

Proteus, still loyal to his former friend, intercedes on behalf of Sinbad. He goes to jail for Sinbad so that he can recover the Book from Eris. If Sinbad fails to return, Proteus will be put to death in his place. Will Sinbad undertake the quest or will he run away? Will he succeed or fail? Sinbad finds an added complication when Proteus’ fiancée Marina tags along for the ride.

Sinbad is rated PG for adventure action, some mild sensuality and brief language.

What Worked:
I wasn’t expecting much from Sinbad because, quite honestly, the ads haven’t been that appealing. They make the film look like another lame animated adventure. However, Sinbad delivers a lot of action, humor, and beautiful art without any singing critters.

While the animation isn’t groundbreaking, they use CG to great effect. The waves on the sea look great and the creatures look absolutely fantastic. From a strange squid to an ice falcon to a monstrous island fish, the CG animation helps make the creatures all the more scary, fanciful, and exciting. Some sirens made out of water deliver a particularly exciting sequence. Eris is also beautifully animated so that her hair looks like it is flowing in water. The backgrounds in these imaginary locales are also stunning and worth framing on your wall.

Sinbad also delivers in the action department. From the opening battle with the sea monster on the ship, the film rarely stops to let you catch your breath. One of the most memorable scenes is where water sirens threaten to smash the crew on the rocks. It’s up to Marina to save the day in a rather spectacular way.

The film also has a lot of humor. Sinbad and Marina fight in a manner similar to Han Solo and Princess Leia. Underneath all the fighting and harsh words, there’s a blossoming romance. The fighting did get a little annoying at times, but overall it worked. The crew helps provide a number of sight gags and the dog heavily featured in the promos provides laughs for the kiddies. In another scene, a crew member is eaten by a sea monster. When he’s spit out moments later, he immediately gets up and charges screaming at the monster again. Sinbad remarks, “Give that guy a raise.” It got big laughs from the audience.

The voice casting is perfect. Brad Pitt is energetic and funny as Sinbad. Michelle Pfeiffer is downright alluring and evil as Eris. Catherine Zeta-Jones is very much like her Zorro character as Marina. Together all three keep things amusing and exciting. I should also add that the musical score by Harry Gregson-Williams was very well done. It was rousing in the action scenes and appropriately quirky in the quiet scenes.

Overall, Sinbad is a fun family film. Both adults and kids will enjoy it. I’ll also mention that this is the first movie I’ve taken my 1 ½ year old son to. Though fidgety at first, he sat through the entire film and seemed to enjoy it. It’s quite an impossible task to get this kid to sit still for 3 seconds much less an hour and a half. For that alone, I recommend it.

What Didn’t Work:
The PG rating is appropriate for this film. There was a surprising amount of sexual innuendo in the movie. Kids will miss it but parents will not. There’s also a fair amount of barf and drool humor. Sinbad’s bare butt is even shown at one point. I didn’t think this film needed it in order to get laughs, but it’s there anyway. I don’t think it’s worse than anything kids will see on TV, but parents should be aware it’s a part of the film.

The story also starts out strong and kind of ends on a whimper. Nothing in the big finale compares to the action seen in the previous parts of the film. While everything that happens is entirely logical and fits in with the plot, it doesn’t leave you with an overall sense of excitement that it could have.

Finally, I have to reiterate that the ads for this film really stink. The line where he says, “Who’s bad? Sinbad.” looks really cheesy taken out of context. In this particular scene in the movie, the sirens have hypnotized him. Sinbad and all the other male crew are throwing out cheesy pick-up lines to impress the enchanting women. The movie makes the line funny whereas the ads make it look just dumb. I’m sure it will turn off a lot of people.

The Bottom Line:
Sinbad is a fun movie for kids and an entertaining movie for adults. Fans of sci-fi and fantasy should get a particular kick out of it.

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