Netflix’s The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure is a South-Korean rendition of a swashbuckling adventure movie set in the Joseon era. This movie is the sequel to the 2014 movie The Pirates.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
The film opens with Captain Hae-Rang and her crew, along with self-declared honourable bandits led by Woo Moo-Chi embarking on a daring adventure to find the last hidden treasure of the Goryeo dynasty.
The first step in their journey is a mountainous island, where they come face to face with a stampede of bulls on a cliff. Moo-Chi, narrowly avoiding it, gets flung off the cliff but manages to survive. In the process of climbing back, he discovers an elephant’s tusk that had been engraved with further directions to finding the treasure.
Despite an attempt of betrayal by Moo-Chi and one of his crew members Mak-Yi, the crew works together to decipher the engraving. They discover that the treasure could possibly be in an underwater cave accessed through a water current in the ocean.
Simultaneously, we discover that there are two generals working together to find and loot the treasure as well, who were close behind the tails of Hae-Rang and Moo-Chi.
Defying nature, the crew go through a whirlwind swim and reach the underwater cave, where they discover silver ornaments. Although precious, this is not the ultimate treasure. After a scuffle with the enemy, the crew successfully steals the ornaments. Mak-Yi also glances at another map that could lead them to their next clue.
Staggering back to the ship, the crew learn of Mak-Yi’s discovery and demand for him to share. After revealing the clue and his knowledge of its route, Mak-Yi negotiates to be temporary captain.
The crew make their way to the terribly dangerous Lightning Island, combating lightning strikes from a tremendous stormy cloud. Here, Moo-Chi splits up from the rest of the crew to hike to the peak of a rocky, lightning-clad mountain. The enemy and their ship catch up with them.
At the mountain’s peak, Moo-Chi finds a platform of spears stood upright, which belonged to the original traitors of the Goryeo dynasty and thieves of the treasure. Moo-Chi is about to explore it, when their enemies emerge onto the peak. One general attempts to decipher the meaning of the spears.
He ends up sacrificing multiple soldiers to acquire the spears that were like magnets to the lightning above. He then finds a treasure chest dug up by his soldiers, which he finally believed to be the treasure. However, it was a goblin mask, yet another clue indicating at the treasure’s location and a chest filled with rocks, almost mocking him.
The movie tells the familiar tale of an adventurous journey through slapstick humour, while also bringing historical and cultural elements to emphasise its uniqueness.
If you still have doubts about the ending, here is a full breakdown.
The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure ending explained in detail:
The enemies, led by one general catch up to Moo-Chi, while the other catches up to Hae-Rang and their ship below. Moo-Chi displays his swordsman skills and battles it out with the general.
Both the men, having a personal vendetta against each other as they worked together in the past, are filled with animosity.
Despite getting injured, Moo-Chi continues to fight. He is soon joined by some of his crew members. With their help, manages to slay the general.
Down below, Hae-Rang faces the other general and his cannon-laden ships. However, the focus shifts to the sea showing its wrath, causing a volcanic explosion, sending spouting lava from beneath the water. She begins to make her way out of the dangerous looming whirlpool caused by the sea.
Finally, Hae-Rang manoeuvres her ship skilfully and escapes her doom.
At a final attempt at sabotaging her, the general points his cannons at her ship, but gets consumed by the exploding lava and perishes.
Her ship, however, faces yet another hurdle. This time, it is an enormous tsunami, caused by the earthquake, heading their way. Using her masterful skills, she emerges out of the wave unharmed. The ship is unfortunately destroyed. She and her crew now debate of their fate.
Battles raging on both sides, Mak-Yi gets a hold of the goblin mask, which drops down to the sea during a scuffle between Moo-Chi and one general. He swims and finds himself facing a cave with the same goblin-like façade. Inside, he discovers an enormous ship with the treasure of gold, surrounded by penguins apparently native to the island.
He sails out of the cave and reunites with the rest of the crew, including Hae-Rang and Moo-Chi. The crew is ecstatic as they not only found the lost treasure, but also a ship to bring it home. They head out into the sunset, victorious.