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Pirates Of The Great Salt Lakes - Variety

By Dennis Harvey

A genial goof whose comic invention stretches a bit thin over feature length, E.R. Nelson's "Pirates of the Great Salt Lake" sets overgrown adolescent Utah suburbanites on a less-than-grand, largely delusional adventure. There is indeed booty to be had and a curse to be ended, but these wannabe pirates are very much in comedy-of-lameness, "Napoleon Dynamite" mode. Despite comparatively scattered laughs, pic's good-natured silliness could win some regional theatrical exposure and a modest following on DVD.

Dismaying his widowed Christian mom, Cap'n Kirk (Kirby Heyborne) decides to rebel against a conformist ranch-home environ by becoming a full-time scalawag -- even if his "crew" consists of fellow malcontent Flint (Trenton James), their mighty vessel a patched-up rowboat. Walking the plank doesn't means zip when your "sea" is mostly knee-deep, too saline-buoyant to drown in. Nonetheless, they rampage as best they can with rub-on tattoos and wooden swords. Pawnshop owner Larry Bagby becomes their rival for an actual buried treasure, as milquetoast Flint pursues a waitress (Emily Tyndall) who likes bad boys. Amusing if seldom hilarious effort is well served by Brandon Christensen's crisp HD lensing and Brady Ellis' mock-epic score.