The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure parents guide

The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure Parent Guide

There are no deep messages here - and no coherent storyline either. But there's tons of goofy fun to be had.

Overall B

Netflix: A band of Korean pirates are searching for a treasure hidden during the collapse of a previous dynasty. But they're not the only ones seeking the lost gold.

Release date March 2, 2022

Violence C
Sexual Content A
Profanity C
Substance Use B

Why is The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure rated TV-14? The MPAA rated The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure TV-14

Run Time: 126 minutes

Parent Movie Review

During the fall of the Goryeo dynasty, General Joo Bang (Kim Sang-kyung) stole all of the imperial treasure and hid it, so that the kingdom could be rebuilt after the war. About 10 years later, a group of treasonous bandits on the run from the new Joseon dynasty are adopted by a group of pirates, led by the formidable Captain Hae-rang (Han Hyo-joo). The pirates come across a map to Joo Bang’s fabled treasure and set out to find it, but they soon learn they aren’t the only ones searching for the lost gold.

I have a lot of problems with this movie. Firstly, the story has some structural issues, which aren’t helped by some odd editing choices. Scenes end abruptly, with events only implied, not shown. Characters just kind of appear with no development or explanation. And the score vacillates between classic orchestral and rock music. Also, I have approximately zero knowledge about this period of Korean history, but even I could tell that there is no historical accuracy to be found here in the costumes or sets. Captain Hae-rang wears pleather pants, for goodness’ sake.

That all said: I really enjoyed this film. Yes, it’s silly and stupid and half the time it makes no sense, but it is so much fun. If you want to just turn your brain off and watch some pirate shenanigans, this is one of the best options I can think of. The actions scenes are fantastically done, with excellent choreography for the sword fights and just enough humor to keep the tone from getting too dark. Some of the special effects are not great, but that adds to the overall ridiculousness that kept me entertained for the whole (possibly over-long) runtime. There’s even an archer pirate who’s an obvious rip-off of Legolas. Come on, tell me you don’t want to see Korean pirate Legolas.

The amount of swearing and violence makes this an unsuitable choice for children, though I suppose the subtitles would have been enough of a deterrent on their own. The English dubs are not that great, so I do recommend the subtitles if you’re up for them. For adults who don’t mind some swashbuckling and sea battles, this is a fun, silly way to spend a couple of hours. Don’t worry about trying to follow the plot or find some deeper themes, because there aren’t any. Just sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch some pirates do their pirate stuff. I can think of far worse ways to spend an evening.

Directed by Kim Joung-hoon. Starring Kang Han-neul, Han Hyo-joo, Lee Kwang-soo. Running time: 126 minutes. Theatrical release March 2, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure

The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure rated TV-14? The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure is rated TV-14 by the MPAA

Violence: Pirate-type violence throughout. Pirates have swordfights and fistfights, with some injuries and death. People are shot with arrows. Ships shoot canons at each other. A group of men are stabbed by large spikes. Characters are struck by lightning. A decapitated head is briefly shown. 
Sexual Content: An adult couple kiss.
Profanity: Around 30 mild and moderate expletives, one use of a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: The pirates drink ale and there are conversations about said ale.

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The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure Parents' Guide

Pirates were the seagoing bandits of their day. Why do you think they remain so enduringly popular amongst moviegoers?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

The classic pirate film franchise begins with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. It’s followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

On a lighthearted note, lightning pirates take to the skies in a flying ship in Stardust. The cult classic, The Princess Bride, also features a pirate in a comic fantasy.

For pirate films that are more suitable for younger viewers, you can try Muppet Treasure Island, The Pirates – Band of Misfits, Peter Pan, Pan, Hook, Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy, and Treasure Planet.

In the past few decades, piracy has reemerged as a serious threat on some shipping lanes. For a real life story of a deadly encounter with pirates, you can watch Captain Phillips.