Cinema: Sunken Galleon



Screenplay by JEFFERY BLOOM

The swashbuckler is essentially a lyric form. The pleasure lies in watching lithe and graceful men defeat villains whom wickedness has rendered ineluctably clumsy. What was fun about an Errol Flynn or a Douglas Fairbanks Sr. movie was not their inevitable triumph but the innumerable ways they found to demonstrate the true nature of their foes by making them trip over their own outsized feet.

Fighting Spirit. This new film, which dares to appropriate the generic word for its title, makes a bad miscalculation. It does not — be grateful for small favors —...