I was skeptical when they announced a new Pirates film, but excited that Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush would be returning to their respective roles as Captain Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa. Based on the novel “On Stranger Tides” the only similarities really between the novel and the film would be the Fountain of Youth plot and Blackbeard the pirate being involved. The choice for our movie night was down to Thor or Pirates and I lost out to the iron will of my wife. The first thing I noticed was that like all of the Pirates films, it excells at it’s costumes, casting, and visual effects. But what I was surprised to find was that where the film fails is the magic of the previous films just isn’t there most of the time.
A lot of fans have claimed that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is just an attempt to make more money while using an established franchise like Pirates. Since Johnny Depp returns as Jack Sparrow, it’s even a little hard to argue that point but never the less Disney and Bruckheimer wouldn’t put out a complete crap movie without putting some effort into it. My only real problem with the movie was that you find yourself not caring for most of the new characters, so much so that I can barely remember most of their names. Since you don’t care about the characters, you wind up not being involved in their scenes. Even with Johnny around, you find his typical pirate wit lost amidst less than stellar characters. The only time I found myself really paying attention to the characters was when Captain Jack and Barbossa shared a scene, which wasn’t nearly as often as it should’ve been.
Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz play their roles of Blackbeard and Angelica well. I really didn’t know how I’d react to Penelope Cruz and her character, but I really did end up being fine with her in the movie. McShane expertly plays Blackbeard, but after characters like the undead crew of the Black Pearl and Davy Jones a slightly supernatural Blackbeard doesn’t seem like a threat that our beloved Captain Jack can’t handle. Overall, the film just isn’t as enjoyable as I’d hoped but truth be told it is far from bad either. I’ll buy the DVD and watch it multiple times, but I won’t be rushing out to get it either. If you’re a fan of the original trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is worth seeing. If you only ever liked the first film and didn’t care for the second and third installments, Pirates 4 will just be a waste of time. If I had to give it a star rating based on 4 stars, Pirates would just be a 2.5. It’s passable, but far from great.
PETER has a history of loving pirates. His nickname amongst a small group of his friends is still “Cappen” or “Pirate.” He enjoys rum, a good sea shanty, and encourages the consumption of Vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me.