Published on May 19th, 2011 | by dvdpinson0
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stanger Tides Review
Pirates of the Caribbean:On Stranger Tides
“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is the latest chapter in the swashbuckling adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow that delivers on the one thing that most everyone wants: It is better than the last two. The second and third installments of the feeble trilogy were prime examples of the “Lackluster Blockbuster” that never came close to capturing the excitement and charm of the original. While not exactly tantamount, “On Stranger Tides” comes close to capturing that magic the first film possessed and reminds us why we keep watching these things in the first place: To see Johnny Depp play pirate.
It is some-when around the middle of the 1700s and Cap’n Jack (Depp) finds himself in jolly ol’ London were he has heard tell of a buccaneer masquerading as Captain Jack Sparrow. Being that he is Captain Jack Sparrow, he knows that this buccaneer isn’t who they say they arrr! (Sorry) Upon further examination, certain events unfold and Jack gets swept up in a search for the Fountain of Youth that involves the King of England, a group of very regal Spaniards and the vilest, evilest pirate to ever voyage upon the seven seas; Blackbeard (Ian McShane). To complicate things, Blackbeard has a daughter named Angelica (Penelope Cruz); a woman from Jack’s past that he still holds dear to his harrrrt! (Again, sorry. I’m truly trying to avoid it).
Depp is as wonderful as always as the fine Captain. One of the improvements made this time around is the shedding of subplots that bogged down the previous films and the movie spends its two-hour running time following Jack and only Jack. There are heavy doses of daggers and danger and plenty of adventure. Director Rob Marshall (“Chicago,” “Memoirs of Geisha”) takes the commanding reigns from Gore Verbinski (“Rango,” All three films in the original “Pirates” trilogy) and, for the most part, stages things accordingly. There are times when Marshall’s musical background seeps through and the action plays more like dance choreography than actual faux-violence but it mostly works. Much of what is presented is exhilarating and satisfying. There is a segment of the film involving mermaids that beats anything in a “Pirates” movie to date. The film is so thrilling, in fact, that it pushes the boundaries of the PG-13 rating and could very well have been given an Arrr Rating. (Really, I am very truly sorry. That statement isn’t even true. The film shouldn’t be rated R. I know that pirate jokes are about as relevant as Chuck Norris humor but I just thought, if not now, then when?)
Ultimately, fans of the series will be fans of this film. While the 30-plus million dollars Depp reportedly received for donning the wig and eye makeup probably had something to do wiht him saying “yes” to another go-round, there is a sense that he genuinely loves trotting around as Capt Jack every now and again. He is welcome to it as long as he wants and I’m sure Disney will keep sending him on voyages as long as we keep buying the action figures at Toy ARRR Us. (And that’s the last one. Promise.)