Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas

2003, Movie, PG, 86 mins

Review

SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS
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"Who's bad? Sinbad!" That's both a sample of the juvenile dialogue foisted on this film's talented voice cast and an apt assessment of the project overall. Loosely based on the Sinbad tales from the Arabian Nights, the story incorporates the Greek fable of ill-fated best friends Damon and Pythius and a large roster of pan-mythological foes. Sinbad (voiced by Brad Pitt) and his crew of rogues intend to claim the biggest treasure in their pirate careers, the legendary "Book of Peace," which offers protection to several neighboring cities and is en route to its new home in Syracuse. Sinbad wants to auction off the book to the highest bidder so he and his men can live in the lap of luxury in Fiji, but complications arise. The book is guarded by Proteus (Joseph Fiennes), Prince of Syracuse and Sinbad's former best pal, and goddess of chaos Eris (Michelle Pfeiffer) also has her eyes on the prize. Eris dispatches sea monster Cetus to wreak havoc, and Sinbad instinctively saves Proteus's life. After the mayhem dies down, Proteus sails to Syracuse and the still-larcenous Sinbad cuts a deal with Eris. But as goddesses of discord are wont to do, Eris betrays Sinbad and frames him for the theft of the book. Sinbad goes on trial and Proteus puts his life on the line to save him, hoping that his old comrade will retrieve the book. If he doesn't, Proteus will pay with his life. Proteus's spunky fiancée, Marina (Catherine Zeta-Jones), stows away on Sinbad's ship to make sure the untrustworthy pirate keeps his word. Sinbad and Marina soon find themselves in the grip of mutual attraction, which under the circumstances is a very awkward development. The goddess of chaos appears to have had her way with this disappointing DreamWorks production. The jokey (and occasionally lewd) hipster dialogue is at odds with the period setting and subject matter, and the film's mix of computer and hand-drawn images is awkward. Though there are some interesting effects, like Eris's constantly moving hair, the crisp computer graphics used for the sea monster and the sirens blend badly with the more traditional animation used for the lead characters. The characters are mostly flat and unoriginal — Sinbad's bull mastiff, Spike, bears an uncanny resemblance to Percy, the pooch from Disney's POCAHONTAS (1995) — but Pfeiffer delivers a wonderfully villainous voice performance. leave a comment --Angel Cohn

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