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. Written by
Oliver Wood was the film's original director of photography. When he broke his ankle in an accident on set, Peter Levy immediately replaced him. The injury cost Wood his next job on Broken Arrow (1996); Levy replaced him there, too. See more »
When William Shaw is in the captain's quarters trying to decipher the treasure map, he looks at a log book dated 1670, though the opening titles indicate the movie takes place in 1668. See more »
[after boarding Morgan's ship]
Who wants to die first?
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Making a valiant stab at becoming an action figure, Geena Davis plays Morgan Adams, a wily, rough & tumble pirate woman who lives for adventure and the like. When her evil Uncle Dawg (Frank Langella) turns on her and her dad, it's a race against time for Morgan as she tries to piece together a map that will lead her to Cut-Throat Island, where unimaginable wealth in stolen pirate gold resides. Along the way she is pursued by an evil British officer who goes into cahoots with treacherous crew members and Dawg, aided by a pretty boy Jack-of-all-trades thief named William Shaw (Matthew Modine), and confronted with a series of wildly over the top set pieces that no human being could possibly survive.
One of the most expensive flops ever made, this overlong but endearing and even occasionally exciting film deserved much better than what it got in the summer of the mid-90s. Not quite as funny as "Pirates of the Caribbean" but still fun.
Already a cardboard cut-out role to begin with, Geena Davis struggles to overcome her natural aura of motherly warmth to play the roughish Morgan, but she plays the part well enough (she really does come across as somebody's mother, albeit the kind of mother neighborhood boys fantasize about). It's easy to imagine her in the ring with Keira Knightley - who played Elizabeth Swann in "Pirates of the Caribbean" - and to have Geena walloping Keira's waif like frame. Matthew Modine has his moments as Shaw and Frank "Dracula/Skeletor" Langella is enjoyably hammy as Dawg.
If nothing else, rent it for the expensive sets, fancy costumes, and elaborate, over the top stunts - many of which Davis and Modine did themselves.
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