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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jack Sparrow crosses paths with a woman from his past, 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, Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know who to fear more..... Blackbeard, or the woman from his past......
Remember the days in the early nineties when a film would sell on the basis of a character or an actor? Well this is that film, and it's a matter of opinion that this film wouldn't do half as well if it wasn't for one Johnny Depp. And he doesn't fail as Sparrow, this is the same guy we all know and love, and he makes the film what it is.
Just a plain old adventure, which thankfully isn't as confusing as the last two movies. New characters are introduced/compensated for the old ones, and although they are entertaining, they take a little getting used to.
Marshall handles the film with ease, and makes good use of the locations, 3D, and makes the set pieces stunning. There a a few set pieces, which homage other films though, and they stand out a mile. Like, when Sparrow first has a fight with Cruz, wreaks of Robin Hood: POT, and when we first meet the mermaids, It's basically a recreation of the Ark being opened in Raiders.
But these a re not bad things, just recognisable things.
Rush is fantastic again, as is Cruz. McShane isn't in it enough, and there are ome surprising cameos (hello Judi Dench).
But as i've said before, the film wouldn't work without Depp, and he is at the top of his game here, proving again he is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood, and isn't scared of a bit of self deprecation.
All in all, it's a welcome return to a once bloated over the top confusing franchise, that concentrates more on entertaining, than tying up loose ends. Which leaves me asking the question, what happened to Phillip? Syrena takes him underwater and we never see him again...
Must be answered in Pirates 5..
Stay after the credits for a little scene.
A great 'proper' summer movie.
I thought this film would never have happened, since the first three
films wrapped themselves up pretty nicely as a trilogy, but I suppose
studios never say no to profits there for the taking, especially if the
point man in Johnny Depp is game to don his eyeliner and pirates garb
one more time, and possible more films lined up since the final scenes
and the coda after the end credits blatantly teases and flirts with its
audience and fan base.
Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) is back to charm one and all with this swagger and wit, and this time sans his Black Pearl as he goes on a mission, or at least it's one of those self fulfilling rumours, that he's assembling a crew to set sail on a quest to locate the proverbial Fountain of Youth. As with what's characteristic of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, there are always more than one party interested in either joining in or serving as competition, and here we have an English royalty keen on recruiting Jack amongst their ranks to led by Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now an English privateer, the Spanish Inquisition team who are narratively the weakest of the lot save for one pivotal scene, and a true blue pirates outfit led by the villainous Blackbeard (Ian McShane) aboard his Queen Anne's Revenge ship, with his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) as his first mate and one time ex-fling of Jack's tasked with luring the latter out and joining their quest rather reluctantly.
But everyone has ulterior motives, and in true Jack Sparrow fashion, the character relationships all play out like the reality game show Survivor as in previous films, where deals are cut, some allegiances are strongly forged while others being temporarily serving mutual self-interests of the moment. Part of the fun is to witness how Sparrow navigates through sticky situations and almost always come up tops, with the nagging suspicion that Fate smiles on his side consistently, seemingly having no plan at all when he embarks on various mini quests in gathering artifacts all geared toward the primary mission, from the capture of mermaids (and they're of the nasty in attitude variety) to chalices all part of a strange ritual required to get to the secret fountain everyone is craving for.
Joining the fray this time round are old hands such as Geoffrey Rush in bringing a lot more to the Barbossa character, and Gibbs (Kevin McNally) as Jack Sparrow's loyal and trusty first mate. Penelope Cruz becomes one of two token female characters here, although her real life pregnancy created some complications during the shoot, and the credits had to thank her sister Monica Cruz for standing in for the long shots so that there wouldn't be a need to hide that bulge in the tummy - it's quite obvious which scenes these were as her character's hat had to be tipped downwards. You can also tell that the presence of Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as a priest and mermaid respectively were to counterbalance the loss of Orlando Bloom's Will Turner and Keira Knightley's Elizabbeth Swann as the film's requisite lovebirds, which developed too fast too soon, and left it hanging, possibly to be explored in greater detail in subsequent films.
As an action adventure, the action sequences if compared to the previous installments, have all been toned down, and are the same old routine often seen in other action adventures. Do we need another escape on a chariot, or yet another big brawled sword fight sans blood (this is a Disney film after all) with nary a vulgar word spoken as they are cut off at the right moment? Too many one on one swordfights amongst various characters also made this quite repetitive to sit through, and I'd secretly enjoyed more of the dramatic wheelings and dealings more than the action in this film, despite the middle portion sagging under its own talkie weight.
Gore Verbinski had given up the director's chair to allow for new blood to take over the helm and steer the franchise into a new direction, so enter Rob Marshall, whom I'd say has the unenviable task of continuing a very well loved, and profitable series of films. While the direction may be new and the storyline necessary to be branching off from where it left off, somehow On Stranger Tides failed to recreate the entire adventurous spirit that the original trilogy possessed. Perhaps it's the cutting down on funding that made the action sequences quite dull, also having to shoot those scenes in 2D before undergoing 3D conversion to keep costs down.
Sure the storyline is an adventure film for fans to follow up on the exploits of Jack Sparrow, but it sure felt more of the same with that air of familiarity not broken. Should another film be made, let's hope it has some of the swashbuckling cavalier feel to it rather than just another exercise of routine.
I must say I enjoyed Gore's Pirates of the Carribbean trilogy very
much. Although the third one is crammed with many characters and
confusing story plots, I still had a great time watching ships being
wrecked apart. When a forth movie is announced, I was wary of it as I
thought Gore has already concluded his vision. I did not actually show
much interest in watching it until I heard it is shot in 3D and I am a
big 3D fan. Pirates of the Carribbean: On Stranger Tides is an
entertaining ride and much more simpler than the bloated At World's
The story: Johnny Depp returns to his famous role, witty Captain Jack. His friend, Gibbs is back. Barbossa returns too. And these are the only characters that are back for a forth outing. Jack is still as witty as ever. Characters wise is okay. Some characters are under-used like the mermaids. Those action fans who expect Gore's visual and epic battles scenes will be a little bit disappointed in here. Rob Marshall goes for smaller yet still thrilling action set pieces. On the note of ships wrecking, there is none here. Story wise is alright. The pace moves decently. Critics and audience who complained that the previous movie is too bloated now do not need to wreck their brains with characters and confusing/long-winded side plots. Hans Zimmer is top-notch here again with the famous Pirates of the Caribbean music. As a 3D fan, I was a little disappointed with its usage of 3D. Shots of scenery are good but when it comes to the action, it lacks of the visual effects it is supposed to have and in your face moments. I have to admit that this is a bit too long for a 3D movie, struggling to keep the 3D glasses on top of my glasses and craning my neck like in Avatar.
Overall: It is another Pirates and blockbuster movie to whet movie-goers's appetite. Of course, it is not like the Gore's movies or even as big as his but this still stand up with Rob's different directions. This might start up another series as this will no doubt earn a lot in box office.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Though that isn't really saying much, is it? Most people seem to agree
that the first POTC movie was/is/and ever shall remain the best of the
franchise. It took me repeated viewings, but over time the second film
grew on me and I've since come to rather enjoy it. It was over-long,
yes, but at least it was *fun*...unlike the third film, which was - to
put it mildly - a mess. So where does this latest film rank? Well, as
with the three films before it, On Stranger Tides runs for far too
long...but then, we've come to expect that with these movies, haven't
we? If only the filmmakers could learn that making the films run for an
excessive amount of time does not automatically mean there is more joy
to be had. Quite the opposite, in fact. This one has a rather long/slow
beginning, and I didn't think things really picked up until the mermaid
scene - which was quite a wonder to behold. It's easily the best/most
memorable part of the movie. A shame that we took so long to get there.
As far as the actors go, Johnny Depp does his thing as Captain Jack Sparrow. Jack's still his usual old self, but appears to actually show concern for other people from time to time, which is nice. Depp *is* Captain Jack Sparrow, there's no doubt about it. Even when things get boring, he can always be relied upon to brighten up any scene that he's in (hell, even Jack loves himself so much so that he's willing to kiss himself...or, you know, someone pretending to be him - three guesses who that turns out to be). Penélope Cruz is good as Angelica (the maybe daughter of Blackbeard). She's sufficiently feisty and holds her own against Jack. The best exchanges between the two come at the end, when they seemingly part ways (though if you stay after the end credits, you will see possible set-up for how Angelica might find her way back into Jack's life again).
And what of Angelica's maybe father, Blackbeard? Well...at least they got the flaming beard part of him right. Other than that, I didn't find Ian McShane particularly menacing in the role. For a pirate who's supposedly so feared by all, he's really not that fearsome (though the writers try to make him so by having him at one point flambé someone with his ship. Yes, apparently it has flame-throwers in the front of it). Honestly, the most memorable thing about him was watching him meet his fate at the end. He just doesn't compare to Bill Nighy's Davy Jones.
With the Will & Elizabeth storyline pretty much wrapped up at the end of the last film, in place of Orlando Bloom & Keira Knightley are newbies Sam Claflin & Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey as Philip and Syrena (he's a missionary man and she's a mermaid). Philip's main purpose seems to be getting slashed or stabbed. Whereas at least Syrena has an 'other-worldliness' about her and is interesting to watch, thanks to Bergès-Frisbey's portrayal of her. She's really quite something. Whilst spending most of her time in a water-filled box, her character *does* serve a purpose in the long run and helps Jack out (we also get to see her have an Ariel moment and gain legs on land). The 'love story' - if one can call it that - between the two characters is left open-ended. Sadly, the first and most fearsome of the mermaids who we meet - Tamara (played by Aussie Gemma Ward) - is only on screen for the briefest of times. I wish we could have seen more of her, as she really was entrancing. But, hey, at least we got to hear her pretty singing. Yes, like all the films before it, this one has singing (though nowhere near as lame/annoying as the gallows singing in the last film).
Geoffrey Rush is back as Barbossa, though not as we remember him - he's now one of the "King's men" and has a peg leg. Rush is at his best when playing off of Depp, and there's a rare serious moment between Barbossa and Jack when they're tied to trees. Kevin McNally also returns as Gibbs. Frustratingly, he spends most of his time separated from Jack, but they're thankfully reunited at the very end. The rest of the secondary characters are all pretty much unmemorable and/or pointless.
The film looks great of course, and the score is what you've come to expect. While the main POTC theme is as memorable as ever, the new Blackbeard 'theme' is, like him, pretty forgettable.
If things had been trimmed out of the first half of the movie, it might have actually been really good, but there are long periods that appear to be massive wastes of time and numerous sword fights that seem ultimately pointless. The scene where we first see Jack encounter Angelica is memorable, but perhaps that's because it shares similarities to the scene from the first film where Jack met Will. Truly, the one stand-out scene from this new film is the mermaid attack. It's very nicely shot, and quite creepy/tense/exciting. One thing the filmmakers have reined in a bit is the over-use of CGI. It's used to better effect here - the mermaid's tails, for example - rather than just tossing in as much of it as they can like they did last time.
Where things end, yes, there's definitely room for a sequel...but really, is there much point at this stage? While this film is an improvement over the last one (and nowhere near as convoluted), it's still not what I'd class as 'great'. I much prefer the first two, but still, this one is worth seeing if you just can't get enough of pirates, Captain Jack or fang-y mermaids.
I have to say I was really looking forward to Pirates of the Caribbean
4, I really enjoyed Curse of the Black Pearl.Then Dead Man's Chest and
At World's End were good, but there was room for improvement.
POTC: On Stranger Tides was full of action. The beginning is quite good but I struggled to get to grips with where we were since the last film. I soon got into it and it was good to see familiar faces! Depp and Rush were amazing as always and there's some pretty good new faces too! However - I did feel there were too many action sequences, and there's so many different groups of people going after the Fountain of Youth it becomes very confusing. I also felt it was difficult to understand why each person/group of people were going after the fountain? It also lacked the humour of The Curse of the Black Pearl.
On the positive side again - we learn a lot more about Jack's character. But I perhaps feel he wasn't involved enough...But I would advise watching it. I will definitely buy the DVD and am looking forward to POTC 5!
In movies, as in marriage, the fourth go-around can get a little
tricky. As the fourth round approaches there's an apprehension of what
has come before and what is new that is left to be discovered. Pirates
of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the third sequel in Disney's
highly-successful series, is not a movie that I went into with much
anticipation. Yet, as I always do, I allowed myself to be open minded
(you never know when a movie will surprise you) and I found the movie
My apprehension comes from the experience of the previous films, which I complained were too long and so overwritten as to become convoluted. That's not good for what should be a simple pirate movie. Having left behind many of the familiar characters (Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightly and Jonathan Price are absent this time), the movie is free to find new characters and a new arena to play in. With that, this is a kind of trimmed down POTC movie.
The movie finds the ever-plucky sea-going rascal Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) once again in trouble with the King's court and about to be executed. That is, until one of his crew produces a map to the fabled Fountain of Youth, rumored to have been found 200 years before by the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León. Jack makes a spectacular escape and the race is on race to find the fountain, which is headed off first by the Spanish fleet and then by the British fleet. Trailing them are Jack and his nemesis Captain Barbossa (Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush), who is a privateer under the orders of King George II (Richard Griffiths). Then there is Angelica (Oscar winner Penelope Cruz), who is first mate on the ship captained by Blackbeard (Ian McShane) - whose beard is actually gray, but never mind.
The plot to get to the fountain of youth is probably more complicated than it needs to be. Getting to the fountain is easy enough, but then we learn that it is not a simple matter of taking a dip and becoming younger, no. First, Jack learns, you must first get two goblets belonging to Ponce de León, then you have to mix it with the tears of a mermaid, then (I think I have this right), one person has to drink from one cup to become younger and then another person has to drink from the other and they will die. Something along those lines. As I said, it is more complicated than it needs to be.
The plot, as in the previous installments, is somewhat superfluous. There really isn't a need to get to the fountain of youth. There probably wasn't any need for mermaids that can suck your blood, nor, all that stuff about voodoo and shrinking massive ships until you can fit them into bottles. Yet, what I have learned about this series is that the plot really doesn't matter. These films are constructed more as a series of set pieces rather than a narrative plot. I appreciated the mermaids but, this being a Disney film, the all-out boob-fest that should have ensued sadly never materializes.
What keeps this series popular is quality control. Johnny Depp maintains the same swagger and slurry charm that he had in the previous films. He keeps from taking the film too seriously but avoids the temptation to make fun of the character. The first film got him his first Oscar nomination, and justifiably so. Eight years, and three sequels later, Depp maintains the fun spirit of the character and doesn't allow it to grow routine. Neither does Geoffrey Rush, in his third go-around as Captain Barbossa, which he plays with an evil wink and a pirate accent that he practically chews on. Penelope Cruz gives a nice performance here and proves - to me at least - that she should have been the female protagonist of the series all along instead of Kiera Knightly. Yet, I was surprisingly underwhelmed by Ian McShane's performance as Blackbeard. McShane is a wonderful actor but somehow Blackbeard seems subdued. He is pure evil, right down to the buckles on his boots but the character doesn't leap out with the lip-smacking vileness that I had hoped. The movie pins the character down as if they are introducing him to be in a future movie.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is probably the best of the series since the first one. That is thanks to a leaner script and, mercifully, a shorter running time (it is actually an hour shorter than the last one). I could complain about it all day long, but I would rather confess that I was more entertained by this film than I was by the previous two.
Disney has found a gold mine with this series. Convoluted as these movies are, they do have an audience and I am glad to see anything that gets movie fans excited. Yet, there is a feeling that this series may be wrapping up. Johnny Depp has said that he is growing tired of playing Jack Sparrow (although it does not come out in his performance) and that may bring about an end to this "Pirates" series. With that, I started thinking that maybe Disney would do well to move on to something else, maybe Treasure Island, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Moby Dick. Maybe the same fun-loving spirit that made this series so popular could be given to those classics as well.
out of the rest of the pirates movie , this one lacked a little bit of
sudden turn of events which made the movie a little slow....Still the
story was amazing creating a last moment of forthcoming thrill and
interest with jack with "his pearl" and and his own fleet of ships.
The role of Barbossa was amazing with gradual display of his usual deception and pride of a "Pirate".Not much to go with Blackbeard.cast taken together is also good with the breath taking and beautiful Penelope Cruz to give them the boost(although she was showing in some places which strengthened the story ending)
Too predictable with the thing with the switch of the chalices. Most of the parts of the movie were predictable,very predictable.But for those who haven't watched the previous pirates movie 100 times before,the new one would be an absolute delight and a treat.
I got a chance by a friend to watch this movie at the premier. And I am
glad i did. On stranger Tides was just as good as the other pirates.
Maybe even the best one yet.
One thing that you will Understand early in the film, is that it is very different compared to the others. at the start it may seem a bit slow, but as you go further into the film it gets better and better by the minute. Johnny Depp is as good as always. i can NOT imagine anyone else playing this Role but him, he truly nailed it as always.
A very good thing about this film is that there aren't many CG scenes, like At the world's End. it makes the films look and feel very natural. the performance by Geoffrey Rush and Penélope Cruz Are fantastic and would be very good if we see them in the future films. They are really lucky that the movie was rated PG-13. There are some mild Violence scenes which we never had in the pirates series. but I am not referring to that as a weakness. The mermaids were extremely Beautiful and nicely made, which i think was one of the best parts of the films.
On the other hand Ian McShane's performance didn't really grab me. he seemed that he hasn't fit into the role. And was not as scary and powerful as the Black Beard should be.
The Music fantastic as always by Hans Zimmer. it adds so much to the film's story and theme.
I personally Can not wait until the next one is ready. Because it will always be as good as the first one.thats whats special about this, that it Never Gets boring or Old.
Jack is Back,maybe not as powerful as ever, but with a new cast and new story and a new tide, brings a great deal of action to the series.
So this is a MUST-SEE film of the year so far. so if you have any plans for the weekend, drop them, and get to the nearest Cinema!!
I would like to begin by saying that I very rarely review films
anymore, but after reading many reviews for this film by various
critics I felt compelled to give my own verdict. Purely because every
review I have read has been unnecessarily venomous, and simply seemed
to trash the film and its two predecessors at every given opportunity.
I am a fan of the Pirates trilogy, the original is by far the best, and
three may have some problems with its convoluted storyline, but there
is nothing wrong with Dead Man's Chest and as a trilogy they all worked
very well. This fourth instalment like the others is great fun, the
storyline may not be Oscar worthy stuff but neither was the storyline
in the others. It is an entertaining fantasy flick that you can sit
back, relax and enjoy. The idea that Johnny Depp has become bored of
the character of Jack Sparrow and plays him in this film as a shadow of
his former self, is simply ludicrous. Depp is on top form in this
movie, brilliant for me considering following the awful performance in
Alice in Wonderland I had begun doubting him somewhat. On Stranger
Tides is easily the best movie since the original, and I would be more
than happy to sit through another two films.
Now onto the performances. As previously mentioned Depp is simply outstanding as Jack Sparrow. By putting him to the forefront means we get to spend more time with him, though thankfully the writers hold back on having him on screen too much. His one liners, especially one involving a Spanish Convent had me in stitches. His relationship with Angelica (Penelope Cruz) really adds that extra bit of spice to the film. It also helps that Cruz and Depp have outstanding chemistry together. While the character of Angelica can be a bit complicated at times, her motives are vague at best, this can be overshadowed by the fact Cruz plays her with some real gusto. Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa for me really stole the show, and it seems the writers gave him quite a bit more storyline this time as well. The idea of moving him to the kings navy really played off, and his scenes for me were definitely a highlight of the film. Ian McShane is a great villain, while not as good as Davey Jones or Barbossa for that matter, he still has a great storyline and some really menacing moments to make him a worthy adversary.
My one major issue with this movie would be the storyline of the missionary and the mermaid. While thankfully it isn't given enough screen time to be a really annoyance, I do question its point in the first place. Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom are not remotely missed, so why try a romance replacement which just isn't that good. The mermaid action scene however is a thing to behold. As said the storyline is not amazing, the quest for the fountain of youth is entertaining and it has less betrayals than the far too long At World's End, but it isn't a story that will be winning awards. Nevertheless it maintains your interest and never feels like an excuse to get to the next action scene as it was in something like Transformers 2. The fact it is a one story arc is also a nice breath of fresh air following the second and third movies. Overall this is a great Summer movie, the kids will love it, and if you're a pirates fan you will also love it. The trashing of this film to me is slightly irritating as this is genuinely a very good film that deserves recognition. I will stand by the Pirates films until I genuinely see one that is rubbish, this film is a great Summer blockbuster and anyone that looks at it otherwise must either be deluded or trashing on it because they no longer see Pirates as "cool". I cannot recommend this film quite enough, just go out, watch it and have a great laugh, I know I did.
What Rob Marshall did with Pirates series, no one else could have done
with such finesse and panache. Dropping out two key protagonists
without explanations and instead of picking on famous novels, he opted
for rather under-rated Tim Power's On Stranger Tides to fit the
Similarly, what Johnny Depp has been doing in all Pirates movies and what he did in this movie, no one else could have done it with such perfection. That's Johnny Depp(Jack Sparrow) for you.
Most of you must have seen Indian Jones and the Last Crusade, I guess. You're gonna have a feel of Deja Vu in many of the scenes. Following an appropriately pulpy prologue, the film opens on erstwhile Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) as he's marooned in London in search of a ship, and pursued by local authorities who he makes little serious effort to avoid. Hearing that an impostor Sparrow is auditioning pirate recruits at a seaside bar, he seeks out the interloper only to discover his spitfire former lover Angelica (Penelope Cruz), disguised as him After some requisite sword-clashing, Angelica kidnaps Sparrow and ferries him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, lorded over by Angelica's (maybe) father, Captain Blackbeard (Ian McShane). Commanding a crew comprised of equal parts stray pirates and hulking zombies -- why he needs the former when he has the latter is never explained -- Blackbeard enlists Sparrow to help him locate the fountain of youth, which becomes an especially urgent task after a prophecy foretells Blackbeard's imminent death at the hands of a one-legged man.
Meanwhile, Sparrow's rival Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now conveniently one-legged, has bid farewell to his pirate's life, and seeks the fountain on behalf of the king of England, who is keen to find it before a rival crew sent by the king of Spain can claim it for themselves. As the three parties converge on the fountain's jungle location, they must also deal with a ravenous horde of vampiric mermaids, from whom a single tear must be procured to drink the fountain's waters.
In case any one of you haven't seen the previous movies, frequent recaps are provided through out and it doesn't matter too much anyway. Depp remains the face of the film. But a majority of his thunder is co-opted by an on-point Rush, who not only gets the funniest lines and reaction shots, but also starts to siphon away much of the roguish charm that used to be Depp's stock and trade. McShane, on the other hand, is underwhelming. Never appearing comfortable in his heavy pirate get-up, his tired Blackbeard is only menacing via other characters' testimonials to his evil, and his one on screen atrocity seems tossed in merely to stress that he is, in fact, the bad guy.
Cruz is a reliably welcome, gorgeous presence, though she too often falls back on the "feisty Latina" signifiers that have been the crutch of so much of her English-language work. Sam Claflin supplies some semi- risible gallantry as a super-studly priest, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey looks effectively terrified as a captive mermaid.
All in all, it is must watch for everybody who is a fan of Pirates series and Johnny Depp. Go for it and chances are less of you being disappointed.
Thanks & Regards,
My Rating: 8/10
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