A ruthless mercenary renounces violence after learning his soul is bound for hell. When a young girl is kidnapped and her family slain by a sorcerer's murderous cult, he is forced to fight and seek his redemption slaying evil.
Michael J. Bassett
Max von Sydow,
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. Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
Oren Aviv said Disney had chosen to scale this movie down from the former in the series; "It's important to get the story right and it's important to me to scale it down, because we can't get bigger. The movies have subsequently gotten bigger and bigger and very complicated and they were satisfying on so many levels obviously, but I want to kind of reboot the whole thing and bring it down to its core, its essence, just characters." He agreed that there is a lot of Captain Jack Sparrow's back story that we haven't seen yet without confirming or denying that we might see some of that in the fourth movie See more »
When Barbossa notices the Spaniards' ship, the Spaniards are very close to them, as there is a man in the crow's nest. He should have been notified of the Spaniards much earlier. See more »
As far as the Pirates of the Caribbean movies go, On Stranger Tides may be lacking in the rollicking fun of Curse of the Black Pearl, which I absolutely loved, though it's closer in spirit to it than those of the two movies before, but I think it is better than Dead Man's Chest, which had great effects and a brilliant Bill Nighy but felt overlong and ferentic sometimes, and At World's End, which had the cast giving their all, great visuals, score and final battle but rather convoluted and bloated on the whole.
On Stranger Tides isn't perfect. I did feel it did have perhaps have too many moments of exposition and clichés, though the story if slightly rickety in places here is less bloated noticeably and better paced than the film released before it which is a good thing. I also felt the romantic subplot(s) felt underdeveloped and forced, and while there are some droll, bizarre and witty quips particularly with Depp, Rush and Cruz there is a bit of filler that could have been excised.
However, despite these complaints, On Stranger Tides is a worthy instalment. Once again, the production values are impeccable, the cinematography is skillful, the costumes, sets and period recreation is authentic and the effects are superb. The opening twenty minutes is an example of the writing being at its funniest and wittiest, and the scenes with the mermaids are beautifully shot and intriguing.
While not perhaps original, and not among his best, I did very much like Hans Zimmer's score, which was rousing and brought some much-needed energy. The characters are not the best developed, but they are fun and there aren't too many of them to interrupt the flow of the story, a big problem I found with At World's End, while the action sequences are both exciting and nail-biting on the whole.
I wasn't so sure about Rob Marshall as director, but he does a far better job than expected, and the film is livelier in pace than Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. The acting is good enough for what it was. Johnny Depp plays lovable rogue Jack Sparrow with a voluptuous swagger and sly humour and nails it again, while the idea to omit Kiera Knightley and Orlando Bloom here proved a good one, without them for my money the whole adventure carried less of a dead weight.
Instead we have Penelope Cruz, who proves a perfect match for Depp. She is feisty, beautiful, foxy and sexy, and also likable and fun. I was wondering what they would do for villains without Bill Nighy, but I needn't have worried. Ian McShane is a worthy addition as Blackbeard, who is charming in a grizzly way while committing acts of great evil. Geoffrey Rush is underused in a way, but he does have some great lines and a fun presence so he isn't a complete waste.
In conclusion, On Stranger Tides is not a perfect film, but as an instalment to a decent enough franchise it is a more than worthy one. And you know, what I've said about this movie was not something I thought I would be saying, because judging by what I'd seen of the advertising/trailers, it looked as though it was going be the worst of the series, but actually for me it wasn't. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
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