It's a tradition at my college that the whole student body goes to nearby Busch Gardens one Friday in October. I've gone all four years of my undergraduate experience, and this last year was perhaps one of the best. So eager was I to make merry that I got to the park at 10:30, well before any of my peers. My timing was such that a special presentation of PIRATES 4-D! was about to begin. I happily went to the show (it wouldn't be my first experience going to theaters by myself).
What does 4D mean exactly? Well, I'm not entirely sure. One watches the film with 3D glasses but look out! because you also get sprayed with water and shot with bursts of air throughout the film as well. Somehow, I believe, this equates to a fourth dimensional film experience.
But it's still a movie nonetheless, and a dumb one at that. Our hero is a boy named… well I forget. But he wears a very bad wig and so we'll call him Wiggy. Wiggy used to be the cabin boy for the evil pirate Captain Lucky (played by Leslie Nielsen who does what Leslie Nielsen always does: unintentionally beat the shit out of every living object in his vicinity) until he is cast ashore and left for a dead on an island.
This island just happens to be where Captain Lucky buried his pirate's treasure (why pirates bury treasure has always been beyond me, but whatever). Wiggy knows Lucky is coming back to claim the motherload, so Wiggy has prepare a series of traps to bungle Lucky's efforts.
Of course, Lucky and his crew do a decent job of bungling things themselves. Eric Idle plays Lucky's unfortunate first mate and slips between French and English accents throughout the film (which is only 20 minutes long). It's rather sad to see Idle's comedy being reduced to Leslie Nielsen's punching bag, but I suppose the price was right.
So the pirates make their way to the buried treasure while various booby traps are set off (always with a 3D spider flying at you here or 3D bats flying at you there or 3D bees flying at you… hmm, sense I a pattern?)
Lucky eventually gets his comeuppance and in an interesting bit of ship politics, the 12 year old Wiggy is elected to be the ship's new captain. But wait you ask, if Wiggy is the captain, who will be the new cabin boy? Pan down below decks where Rodney Dangerfield comes out of nowhere with a cameo which really did make me laugh out loud saying, of course: "I don't get no respect… but the price is right!" It blows the otherwise stale comedy of Nielsen and the straight-man of Idle out of the water. As for the movie on the whole, however, well, it just blows.