Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Posted: June 10, 2011 9:14 am in Theatrical Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

PG-13 – 136 Min – 2011

Check Out The Trailer

Starring Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow and Penélope Cruz as Angelica Malon, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is about the cunningly clumsy Captain Jack who meets his match when mysterious beauty forces the him to join her in search of the Fountain of Youth. In the fourth installment of the action-packed “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, Sparrow tries to determine whether Angelica is friend or foe while the adventure sets him aboard a vessel belonging to the fearsome pirate Blackbeard.

Let me start off by saying, the only reason I even watched the original “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy was because I liked the Jack Sparrow character so much. I was one of the people who got irritated at the presence of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, and wished that they would make a movie devoted to only Jack. Well, after some falling outs between Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and the people behind the franchise, I got my wish. And yes, while the absence of the two characters left out the nostalgic feel of the franchise, they had the opportunity to take this installment in a completely different direction.

The story picks up noticeably years after the events of the third installment, in the middle of a trial for Captain Jack that turns out to not be the Captain but a familiar face. From the opening scene, we rarely have a Jack free scene, which is great. In my opinion that could be the only thing that could save this franchise, having more Jack centric movies. There were only a weak points in the plot and casting, and from there on out it is a solid film. Plus, getting to see the two greatest pirates, Jack and Barbossa, teaming up for once, amazing.

The villain in the movie is Blackbeard, one of the most feared pirates of all time. Now, I wasn’t impressed with how this whole situation was handled. First off, they cast Ian McShane as Blackbeard. I’m sorry, but he will never be anyone but Rod’s annoying and violent stepfather, Frank Powell, in the funniest movie ever, “Hot Rod”. I just couldn’t shake that role long enough to take him seriously as Blackbeard. And aside from that, they didn’t even present him to be that menacing. Like Barbossa was pretty bad ass, and Davy Jones was down right diabolical, but Blackbeard, eh. That was really my only complaint. Penélope Cruz made a great addition to the cast, she’s probably one of the most sexy actresses out there. Her character, Angelica, was the perfect match for Jack. You could tell that in some scenes he was actually stumped as to how she out smarted him. The only returning members of the original cast, besides Johnny Depp, were: Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally and Keith Richards (he of course only having a small role in the previous installment, had a smaller role in this one). Now, either I missed how much time had elapsed between part 3 and 4, or Geoffrey is getting really old these days. Barbossa looks ancient in this movie, but ancient or not, he actually made this movie great. Kevin McNally reprised his role as Gibbs, while Keith Richards reprised his role as Captain Teague (Captain Jack’s father).

Now, a lot of people had a lot of bad things to say about this installment. Oh, that it didn’t follow the same path as the other three, that the mermaids were dumb, that the fountain of youth should have been in Florida, blah blah blah. What they need to understand is that, this installment is the beginning of a new set of stories. They weren’t trying to continue the same old path that was worn out after three rounds. The story isn’t even one they pulled out of they’re old bag of tricks, it was a book written in 1987. They followed the plot of the book which features Blackbeard, the fountain of youth, and zombies. So really, stop whining and enjoy the movie. Another thing I’ve heard a decent amount of times, is that the side love story of Philip and Syrena was stupid. I thought that it actually fit great into the movie. It certainly was better than watching another movie with the Elizabeth and Will annoyance.

Overall, this was a great time at the theaters. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, not only because of how epic the movie was (you’ll be surprised to see that the overall tone of the movie is much darker), but also because of how many funny scenes there are because of how much Jack is involved in the plot. My favorite scene is in the dialogue between Jack and Angelica in the very end, it’s so funny that I won’t spoil it. Speaking of the very end, there’s a worthwhile hidden scene at the end of the credits, so stick around for that. All of the new additions fit perfectly, and all of the aspects taken out were not missed. I will be adding this to my collection once it releases onto blu ray. Good job on this one, and here’s to many more.

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