Brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz
“Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past (Cruz), and he’s not sure if it’s love — or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.”
As a BIG fan of Johnny Depp and of his lovable and eccentric character of Jack Sparrow, I was thrilled when the date for the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was announced. My excitement proved right, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a BLAST!
Johnny Depp is by far the greatest actor alive! He returns as the clever, completely unpredictable, slightly off his rocker, and just plain hilarious Jack Sparrow. From the beginning of the movie Depp as Sparrow has you laughing and eyes glued to the screen, just wanting to know what in the world Jack will do next. Penelope Cruz adds sexuality without being a damsel in distress type character or taking off any of her clothes. Finally, a female character who isn’t a total whore in a film! The chemistry between her and Depp was excellent. She managed to be just as clever and just as unpredictable as he was.
Geoffrey Rush returns as Barbossa and continues to shine as Sparrows best rival. When Barbossa and Sparrow are on screen together they are ABSOLUTELY hilarious! One of the BEST scenes in the movie is when they both get caught by the Spanish armada, who are also after the Fountain of Youth, and need to escape. I won’t reveal what happened as to not spoil it but man-oh-man, those two are just too dang funny and oh so crazy! And one of the scenes that will just have you rolling on the floor with laughter is toward the end when Sparrow and Angelica (Penelope Cruz character) are on the deserted island. Oh my gosh! That scene had the entire theater just rolling in laughter! Ian McShane as Blackbeard was brilliant. He is as nuts as Sparrow but much more dark.
The action is heightened a great deal in the fourth installment than it was in the previous three. The dark magic with Blackbeard’s sword and boat was terrific. I would not want to go up against Blackbeard! The scene with the mermaids is a terrifyingly awesome part in the film. They prove that beauty can be a killer–literary!
As to really any film there are a few downsides. On Stranger Tides, the script wasn’t as good as the predecessors. Yes, there is great humor and even greater chemistry between the actors but there wasn’t enough screen time between Depp and Barbossa. I love their love/hate relationship and would have liked to have seen more of the two of them together. There was also some random religious dude who had been held captive on Blackbeard’s boat because Cruz’s character didn’t think her father’s soul could be saved if he killed someone who served God. Then the random religious dude falls in love with the mermaid Blackbeard captures. Completely pointless!
The scenes between the random religious dude and the mermaid just made the movie feel like it was dragged out, as if the writer’s added the slight romance because they needed to fill a void. The movie could have done without the story. I kept wanting to throw the religious dude overboard or feed him to the cannibal mermaids because he was just so utterly annoying and stupid! The mermaid was just pathetic. She never even tried to fight back. Come on girl! You got those razor sharp teeth, bite a sucker’s hand off! The Spanish armada was just as pointless. The Spanish only came on screen a few times and they never did anything but talk. They never fought or even tried to stop Barbossa or Blackbeard. They looked cool and should have added to the action but instead they were just useless background characters. I was also saddened by the fact that Gibbs wasn’t on screen that much. His relationship with Jack is one that I loved from the previous three films and he was barely in the fourth one.
All that aside though, On Stranger Tides is still a darn good movie! Lots of intense action, delicious humor, witty banter, and dark magic make the fourth installment in the Pirates franchise a hit!
Director: Rob Marshall
Running Time: 137 minutes
Rating: 9/10 stars