So people have been telling me I spoil too much of the movies I review. Well, that’s what Spoiler Alerts are for, but all the same, I’ll try to refrain from so many spoilers in this review. As such, I’ll also attempt to shorten this review as well.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides gains a new director from the previous Pirates trilogy. Rob Marshall does a great job with the movie, keeping largely the same feel as the last three movies.
This fourth installment to the series is the shortest so far, and its plot seems to be the least imaginative. While it is based on the book of the same name by Tim Powers, the film seems to try and involve too many magical elements to the movie. I mean, it’s supposed to be about pirates, not Harry Potter. But I digress.
Of course Johnny Depp reprises his role as the flamboyant Captain Jack Sparrow, and he manages to do a great job as always. Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally, Penelope Cruz, and Ian McShane star along with Depp, all portraying wonderful characters, both old and new, as do the missionary and the mermaid Serena, both of whom I do not feel like taking the time to look up who played them.
The basic plot is that Sparrow is more or less tricked/forced into helping Blackbeard and his daughter Angelica find the Fountain of Youth so that Blackbeard may be prevented from dying soon at the hands of a one-legged man, Barbossa. At the same time, Barbossa and Gibbs, grudgingly helping Barbossa, set out for the Fountain so as to supposedly beat the Spanish there, who are also out to get it. It’s essentially a race between the three parties as they all race to the Fountain.
Now, normally I would go more in depth with the plot, but I’m holding myself back.
The movie features big battles and fast-paced dialogue. I found myself unable to understand some of what was said, but I think I got the gist: Help us get what we want, Sparrow, or someone dies. Yeah, I got it. The big battles are good, as expected, but, in keeping with tradition, far-fetched. One of the earliest battles is one between Sparrow and Angelica, and in watching it I had a sense of déjà vu. Didn’t Jack already battle Will on top of rafters in the first movie?
Jack’s character is cocky and sneaky as always. Honestly, the jokes, if you can call them that, aren’t funny, but they do help to lighten the mood. It’s his wit, not humor, that makes Sparrow a likeable character. Blackbeard and Barbossa, well, maybe it’s just me, but I had a hard time telling the difference at times, mainly when the movie continued to switch between parties.
Hans Zimmer does a great, if not repetitive, job with the music. Many of the tunes are just varied tunes of the older movies, yet they still feel fresh.
While I haven’t examined the second or third movie as recently as I have the first and this one, I would dare to say that there is at least one big physics flaw in all of these movies (Will and Jack carrying the boat underwater in the first and Jack escaping from being tied up to a tree in this one). I sat in my seat, sort of spellbound at the flaw. It wasn’t necessarily a physics flaw so much as a logical flaw.
This movie features Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth and mermaids. I won’t say much about either so as not to spoil the movie. I will, though, say that I did thoroughly enjoy the battle with the mermaids, regardless of my suspicions of more scientific flaws.
I saw this movie in 3D and was doubtful as to any improvements. There were no mind-blowing 3D moments, but I did notice that 3D was used in several instances. Just because of that, I would say spend the extra few bucks for the 3D unless you are on a tight budget. It certainly doesn’t use 3D like an animated feature, but at least it tries to give people something in return for their extra money.
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This movie has been highly criticized by critics and fans alike for its short run-time, bland plot, uninspired fights, and confusing, if not improbable, happenings. Even though this movie had many flaws, I found that I truly enjoyed it. While I didn’t end up unintentionally walking like Jack Sparrow as I did after watching the first movie on TV the other night, I did feel an urge to do so. If a movie leaves that kind of impression on me, it must have done something right. Unfortunately, what the movie leaves in characteristics, it doesn’t leave in mind. The movie is honestly highly forgettable. All the same, I did enjoy it. I did see the movie at midnight for its premiere, and so maybe I was too tired to notice some things (doubtful since I didn’t feel tired), but I’ll see if my opinion changes any when and if I see it again soon.
Rating: 4 out of 5