Who would have thought a 1999 TV movie could exhume buccaneer cliches that even Sir Francis Drake would have considered hoary? Uptight yuppie Beth (Joely Fisher) journeys to a Caribbean paradise to attend the nuptials of her estranged sister Megan (Charlotte Ross). While the
sisters bandy recriminations during an ocean excursion, the area's premier pirate, Renard (Rob Knepper), cagily boards their schooner with his band of cut-throats, kills Megan's fiancee and a crew-member, carries off Megan and scuttles the boat so that Beth will drown. Fortunately, Beth is rescued
by Renard's reformed flunky, Matt (David Beecroft), who reluctantly leads her to Renard's desolate hideaway where Renard is wining and dining Megan, hoping she has a short memory about her betrothed. At the pirates' private island, Renard shoots Matt; dousing Renard's jetty with gasoline and
igniting it, Beth and Megan dive to safety as Renard burns. If he had only listened to his own band of buccaneers: They had warned him that his tender side would fan the flames of his undoing. In this mildly diverting palm-tree passion play, viewers are advised to check their intelligence before
setting sail. This updated bodice-ripper has three indisputable virtues: (1) lush scenery, (2) a rousingly effective musical score and (3) Charlotte Ross's spectacular midriff. Sadly, comic madcap Joely Fisher adopts leading-lady demeanor that doesn't suit her. Otherwise, this retro-escapism is
manna for movie buffs who recall the hammy swashbucklers of Robert Newton (BLACKBEARD, THE PIRATE). With its Harlequin Romance ambience and trumped-up suspense, it's recommended to anyone who's ever had an erotic dream about walking the plank.
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