Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rob Marshall, 2011) Review

Everything in the series is tied up! Why are you still here? What are you doing, Pirates of the Caribbean? About half of the recurring characters don't even come back. I know the third film ended with Jack stealing Barbossa's map to the fountain of youth but that was done in a way like The Incredibles where it's not a cliffhanger, it's just a way of saying "and so their adventures go on". You don't follow those up but apparently they decided to for On Stranger Tides...let's finish this.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) clashes with a woman from his past, Angelica (Penélope Cruz), when escaping from custody but is suckered into working with in her in order to find the location of the Fountain of Youth. Jack is also lured by Angelica onto a ship named the Queen Anne's Revenge which is rumoured to be helmed by Blackbeard (Ian McShane) who also wishes to find the fountain. All the while, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is in hot pursuit of Jack. 

I'm going to start with the bad stuff fist by starting with how disappointed I was in Ian McShane. Blackbeard is surprisingly bland and not very developed. Maybe I was spoilt by how well Davy Jones was done that it would make any villain that comes next bland. There is also a subplot that is just a repeat of Elizabeth and Will's story in the original trilogy and is pretty pointless since I can't imagine they will come back in the next one...if there is a next one. Speaking of Elizabeth and Will, Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom did add something to the series for me so them being missing, along with a majority of the crew of the Black Pearl, doesn't help the film at all.

As for the good, Penélope Cruz is surprisingly good and offers a new character for the series that works well off of Jack. Barbossa is still as good as he's always been and the film is certainly less complex than the previous two however that could be seen as bad considering that I felt it worked in the last one...a lot of people didn't so I guess it's a good thing...maybe. It is also a creative film with the great use of mermaids and Blackbeard's ship.

On Stranger Tides is definitely the black sheep of the series but it's not terrible, it's just lacking in comparison to the other three.  The villain is really bland, it's smaller in content and scale, it's not as developed, it's lacking what made the first three work but there is still some good stuff here such as the recurring stars being great and it's also creative. Ok, we're finally done with this series...let's check out some films from this year...


Also what was with that Judi Dench cameo?

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