Nate and Hayes
Well, this was a pretty light-hearted swashbuckler. When people are killed in the sword fights it's accompanied by heroic and adventuresome music. The bad guys have no redeeming qualities, and the heroes are smarter and more skilled. The film has cannon fire, damsels in distress, and lots of other cliches you might expect from this genre. It also has a few things you might not expect, but I'll get to that later. Let's take a brief run through the story.
The film opens with our hero Hayes, played by the always entertaining Tommy Lee Jones.
He's pretty much the only reason I rented this movie in the first place.
He doesn't waste any time showing off his manliness. Look how he casually strangles this dangerous snake.
Him and his crew are travelling into the jungle to trade with the natives. Guns for gold.
One look at this bridge and you just know what to expect.
Tommy Lee Jones arrives in the village with the merchandise.
Apparently the guns don't smell right or something because all hell breaks loose.
Hayes has to make a run for it.
He gets to the bridge but discovers spear-wielding women blocking the way.
Though they have no idea what went down back at the village they seem to know that he should be killed (maybe telepathy...)
No time to think it about it, COMMENCE BRIDGE FIGHT!
Tommy quickly dispatches the first three women and only one remains.
Eventually he gives her the old heave-ho, and adds the line "Later darlin'" for good measure.
Reinforcements are right on his heels so he does what people always do with these decrepit suspension bridges.
He's pretty pleased with himself, as you can see.
Not so fast though, Tommy.
He runs into the Spaniards, who are fighting the Natives, and he's arrested for crimes against the crown.
Just like that he find himself in the slammer, awaiting a hanging.
To pass the time he looks to the heavens and thinks back on what brought him to this point in his life.
Cut to a very seasick man.
This is Nathaniel. He's an academic, he dresses well, and he's engaged to a beautiful woman.
For whatever reason the leaned types always seem to be the pukers eh? Naturally the crew of the ship thinks he's a poof.
Even his fiancee is second guessing her decision to marry him.
Poor guy. I say give him a break. He's just out of his element!
The ship they are travelling on, the Rona, belongs to Captain Tommy Lee.
He's transporting them to a tropical island where Nathaniel will run a mission. He's a reverend.
Now, lemme take this opportunity to gush a bit over this beautiful vessel they are sailing on (seen below). For those not in the know, this is what you'd call a traditional schooner. Traditional because it utilizes gaff-rigged sails as opposed to the triangular type. The gaff is the sticky-outy bit (aka spar) at the top of the two main sails. The advantage of gaff-rigging is that it supports a larger sail, the downside is it more complicated an requires a larger crew to operate. Most schooners have two masts, though some have more, and the height of the masts can either be equal or the rear mast slightly taller. One or more jibs are may be flown from the bow to the top of the foremast. Some schooners also use what's call a topsail (a triangular sail which is flown between the gaff and the mast, above the mainsail). Some schooners have square topsails... there's a lot of configurations actually.
Anyways, now you have a notion of what makes a schooner a schooner. Two or more masts set forward on the ship, equal height (or larger in the rear). Hopefully that is of some interest, maybe something you'll need to know one day. I love this stuff and couldn't help but include it. As we come across different ships in this marathon I'll probably talk a bit about them. I hope it's not too dull. Also, I happen to think schooners are one of the best looking types of sailboats.
So back to the movie. Hayes (Tommy Lee Jones) has dropped Nathaniel and his wife off at their destination and departed.
Shortly after arriving Nate and Sophie proceed with their plans to get married.
But wouldn't you know it, during the ceremony some slavers show up on the island and shoot the minister.
I'm not sure what to make of Nate's expression... Or the minister's wife's for that matter! Maybe he was a real bastard so they don't care.
The slavers round up the natives and burn the village.
In the chaos Sophie gets captured and Nate gets knocked unconscious (hmm, he's a bit of a pansy on land too).
When he wakes up he's the only person around. Everyone else has either been killed or taken prisoner.
He curses Hayes, think thinking it was him and his crew who must've done this (he never did trust that man).
Putting his seasickness aside, he grabs one of the locals fishing boats and takes off after the slavers.
He's not much of a sailor though. He manages so sink his ship on the only rock within miles of anywhere.
For some reason he goes flying when he hits the rock. I'm not sure that's possible with the ship that only travels a couple miles an hour, but whatever.
So now he's stranded.
And his wife (or financee, not sure how far they got into the marriage ceremony) is stuck below deck on a slave ship.
Naturally the bad guy has a lesser beard than our hero... all patchy n' shit.
Back onboard the Rona a shirtless Tommy Lee spots something or someone way in the distance.
After he realizes it's Nate, he enjoys the moment. He never did like that man. Fortunately for Nate, Hayes isn't cruel. They rescue him.
Now you'd think that the act of saving his ass would tell Nate that Hayes isn't the man who has his wife...
But no, he must've gone mad sitting out in the sun so long. Luckily Hayes' crew is there to keep things from getting ugly.
Eventually Nate and Hayes, while drinking rum, decide to team up and go after the real slavers.
Actually only Hayes drinks the rum, and Nate continues to be a bit of a poof.
Lots of crazy crap happens in the middle of this movie. The Germans get involved somewhere along the way, some King-Kong style ritual goes down on some island, and lots of natives get angry when Hayes spoils the party by rescuing Sophie.
As Nate, Hayes, the girl and the crew make their escape the Germans persue them in their iron-clad, steam-powered warship.
They try to attack the fleeing ship but because of Hayes' fancy manoeuvring they can't hit it.
In a twist Hayes and company board the German vessel and we get some sword vs sword action.
We also get sword vs. life preserver (not recommended) and sword vs. steam to the face (very effective, but hard to pull off).
Oh and here's a guy with an eye-patch... I was beginning to worry we wouldn't see one in this movie.
After taking a knee to the cannonballs eye-patch man gets taunted by poofy Nate and then thrown overboard.
Meanwhile, Hayes takes on the top German.
It's an okay sword fight, but did they forget that they're wearing pistols?
They eventually make their way back to their ship after rigging the German boat to blow up.
But wait! That was just a memory. Hayes is still in jail!
Nay, he's about to be hanged! Not to worry though. Look who the reverend is.
Okay, so it's Nate. Better than nothing though I guess.
Tommy Lee Jones tries not to arouse suspicion.
What a great f'ing look.
Nate busts out the holy six-shooters and hands one to Hayes.
They make their way to the wall while Sophie, the gun totting nun, lays down suppressing fire.
Up and over the wall they go and they make their way to the edge of the island.
From there it's just a zip-line trip to freedom.
And what better way to finish the movie than literally sailing off into the sunset (this time WITH topsails! ).
Woo, I'm all pumped up on sailing now. The movie wasn't very good but it's been a while since I've seen me some schooners. I will say this for the film, it had pretty good production value. The ships looks good, the locations look legit, the costumes and equiptment were fine. The story is whatever. It gets you from A to B I guess. The music was kind of weak. It ALL would've been better with some rum. The best part of the movie is Tommy Lee Jones, which is more or less what I was expecting. A good role for him. I don't recommend seeking this one out, but if you see it on TV or something it's not the worst choice you could make by any means.