An uneven picture which is splotchy in the form it tries to emulate, and vacuous in the substance.
Jeffrey Bloom is given sole screenplay credit and Paul Wheeler sole story credit, for the coloring-book plot and formula characters as follows: genial lead pirates, Robert Shaw and James Earl Jones; wicked colonial governor, Peter Boyle; wronged noblelady, Genevieve Bujold; wronged noblelady’s noble father, Bernard Behrens; and foppish soldier, Beau Bridges.
There’s no sincerity in Swashbuckler. There’s not even a consistent approach. This tacky pastepot job can’t make up its mind whether it is serious, tongue-in-cheek, satirical, slap-stick, burlesque, parody or travesty; but be assured it’s all of the above.