MTI // 2008 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 6th, 2009
Giving new meaning to the term "jolly roger."
MTI presents the R-rated version of the Digital Playground action/erotic/comedy-about pirates-and-wenches sequel to the action/erotic/comedy-about-pirates-and-wenches. If you've been longing for a pirate movie starring buxom women wearing five pounds of eye makeup and men who built up their frequent flyer miles at the neighborhood free clinic in lieu of attending and acting class or two, then Pirates II might be the leaky barge for you.
Taking place after the events of the previous movie that I have no knowledge about, Captain Edward Reynolds (Evan Stone) and his second-in-command blonde bombshell (Jesse Jane) are sailing to the mainland to secure a governor's pardon for one of the bad guys, er, girls. Meanwhile, there's a Chinese sorceress roaming the seas sticking special effects that vaguely resemble a squid into people's mouths. She's apparently after some kind of magic jewel that will grant her a lot of power and cause a humongous whirlpool in the middle of the ocean. Along the way, our heroes sail a lot, go to a circus, fight a gigantic snail, get into a swordfight with skeletons and, by sheer inference, fornicate.
Which begs the question: can a big-budgeted adult movie make the move to mainstream in a sanitized format? Surprisingly, I think so. The film doesn't even flirt with being high art, but if you're expectations are going to be as low as mine were going in -- an adult film minus the boinking leaves, what, exactly? -- I submit there's a solid chance you won't be annoyed.
The story is needlessly complex and largely disposable and yes most of the acting would embarrass a fifth-grade drama troupe, but two things salvaged the experience: the writing and Evan Stone's performance. That's right, I mildly enjoyed the screenplay of an R-rated version of a pornographic movie and thought the acting of a dude name Evan Stone -- who's probably best known for his testicles -- was entertaining. But it's true. Save for the occasional cornball clunkers like "I'll drop you into the bloody fangs of the abyss," there is some half-decent wit to be found and it's not of the corny "this joke is funny because we're about to have sex" humor; some of the gags are genuinely amusing. Stone is responsible for the majority of the functional material and sports a nice comic touch.
Pirates II is light on the action, save for the aforementioned snail-battling sequence (which was weird and poorly rendered) and the overblown finale, a knock-off of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End's action climax. As for the "other action," in order to abide by the R-rating, obviously vast swathes of hanky-panky were excised, leaving only a handful of softcorish scenes; basically, if you're looking for projectile DNA and exposed orifices, then stick with the naughty cut.
The screener MTI sent along featured just the film, which looked and sounded fine. No extras.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R