Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Movies Review

On Stranger Tides PosterDar, batten the hatches ye scurvy dogs and let loose the sails, another Pirates of the Caribbean movie is set to launch.  It’s been four years since the initial trilogy ended, and fans have been waiting for Captain Jack Sparrow to return ever since.  Famed producer Jerry Bruckheimer had a rough year last year with a couple of big flops, and he hopes that a return to the Disney theme park based series is just what he needs to start the hits flowing once more.  It’ll definitely put him on the top for the weekend, but how good of a movie is it?  We’ll find out.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is in London at the start of On Stranger Tides, as he attempts to find a ship and a crew so he can embark on a quest to find the fountain of youth.  Unfortunately for him he’s captured by King George, who demands that he join a now reformed Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to locate the fountain for England.  In typical Captain Jack fashion he manages to escape, only to find himself captured by the infamous pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and forced to join their side instead.  It’s a three way race between the pirates, the English and the Spanish, and along the way they cross paths with mermaids, zombies and the remains of Ponce De Leon as they try not only to find the fountain but to gather the necessary items required to use the fountain’s youth restoring powers.

The Pirates of the Caribbean movies started off with a bang with Curse of the Black Pearl.  Captain Jack Sparrow was a unique, interesting character that had perhaps one of the best initial entrances of all times.  Unfortunately since that movie the charm has faded a bit.  On Stranger Tides puts Captain Jack squarely into the lead role, which doesn’t really suit him.  He’s best used as a scene stealing charismatic loner who supports the rest of the cast around him.  The story this time around is about as good as the second and third movies in the series were, but it is a bit more convoluted than it needed to be.  A simply quest to find the fountain would have been good enough, without the side treks to find mermaid tears and silver goblets.  Granted seeing mermaids on the screen was rather fun.  The music was great and pumped the audience up during the action sequences, but it was slightly too loud.  The movie was also missing a strong antagonist.  Blackbeard looked menacing, but he didn’t have the stage presence Barbossa did in the first movie or Davy Jones in the following two.  Penelope Cruz’s Angelica could have been that character, but they focused on her past relationship with Sparrow too much and teased her as a love interest instead of making her decidedly evil.  Since this movie was shot in 3D and not converted the 3D looked decent, but it really wasn’t needed.  Granted it was cool seeing the fog swirl around you, and watching the water floating in front of your face added slightly to the enjoyment of the film.

Children will undoubtedly love this movie, which is who Disney (and Johnny Depp) was intending to draw in as their principal audience in the first place.  For the adults who see this movie however, they will come out with a ho-hum sort of feeling.  It wasn’t terrible, but it was nothing that will stick with them either.  With the latest crop of movies in the theatres you could definitely do worse, but you could do much better as well.

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