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Plain, simple, and boring film
I'll start with what I DID like:
1) Jack Sparrow was back to the character I knew and loved in the original PotC. I never liked how different they made him in the 2nd and 3rd movies, he was just too loony and bizarre in those 2, whereas in the first, he was smarter and in control of situations, even when it didn't seem like it (but still silly and funny).
2) Jack and Angelica actually had good chemistry. It was nice for Jack to have a flame with some background story. Scenes with them together were some of the best.
3) Good humor, just like the first 3, it didn't disappoint in that area.
4) Jack's escape scene was pretty sweet.
Aaaaandd.....that's about it. Now on to the critiques, I have 4 major points:
5) It started painfully slow with the worst opening of the series. Things didn't pick up until Jack's escape scene, which was quite far into the movie. Then things slowed down again for a while. I didn't feel like the movie REALLY started until Jack woke up on Blackbeard's ship, which was at least 30 minutes into it.
6) The plot was extremely simple and straight-forward. The first 3 are famous for having complicated plots, with many entities participating and things constantly changing, such as people changing sides, unexpected things popping up, etc. This one didn't really have that, it was just a straight-forward story. Pretty much everything that you expected to happen, happened. There was no anxiousness wondering how a big mess or unfavorable odds were magically going to work out in the end. I found myself being very un-interested in the rest of the movie because they weren't really giving me anything to look forward to. The biggest switch they pulled was Angelica actually being Blackbeard's daughter, which was pointless.
7) The action was severely limited. Where were the huge sea battles? We didn't get a single one! In a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie, there wasn't a single battle at sea! The first 3 took place mostly at sea and had huge sea battles, this one had none, how extremely disappointing. And where were the epic swordfights ? After all the buildup toward it, the Barbosa-Blackbeard fight was short, unexciting, and pathetic. The Jack-Angelica fight was pretty good though, I'll give them that, but 1 good fight can't redeem an entire PIRATES movie.
8) Finally, the ending was just terrible. No major twists aside from Jack switching the cups, which wasn't huge. The Spanish just showed up, everybody stopped fighting and stepped aside while they destroyed the Fountain. As I mentioned earlier, the Barbosa-Blackbeard fight was boring and uneventful, and ends with Barbosa stabbing him from behind, minutes after they had even fought, how cheap and tacky. Blackbeard dying didn't even seem like that big of a deal since he had no special power away from his ship, which wasn't even mentioned until the very end, and makes no sense. Syrena comes out of nowhere and hands the chalices to Jack, that was convenient, not to mention bizarre. She had no idea what was taking place at the fountain, yet, as soon as Philip frees her she goes straight there to help them out? Finally, Jack plays the switch and saves Angelica's life. That's great and all, and you expect Angelica to be appreciative, especially after seeing that Blackbeard was going to sacrifice her to save himself, but no, she's mad at Jack for killing her dad, seriously? Then Jack maroons her on an island?? Was that really necessary? Angelica should have just been appreciative, and Jack saving her life could have been what brought them back together. Them being a couple that actually gets along could have been cool to see in the next movie. Then, in the very end, Barbosa gets the nice ship again while Jack is left with a bunch of bottles. Couldn't they have at least given him the Black Pearl back? C'mon, give me something good to end on.
Those are my main points, but there's plenty of problems in between too. Mostly from them not explaining things. Where does Blackbeard get his power from? Why is the ship magical? Or is it the sword that's magical? How does he zombify people and put ships in bottles? Why didn't he lose control of his zombies at the fountain? How does Barbosa instantly know how to use the magical sword at the end? Finding the ship with the chalices was way too easy. Why were zombies and mermaids marketed so strongly for this movie and then barely even utilized? Philip and Syrena stories were pretty much pointless. It's funny, we were promised a Pirates movie with pirates, zombies, and mermaids, and got very little of the 3! What even happened in this movie? Looking back, there really wasn't much meat to it, how did they fill up 2 and a half hours??? Another big question I have: Where exactly was the Fountain in the end? They went down into a cave, then made a puddle appear in the roof of the cave, went through the puddle and popped up in some forest with the Fountain. Based on how they got there, I figured this was some magical area that could only be reached through that portal, but then Philip climbs some rocks, runs through the woods, and finds Syrena who was still tied up at the same spot in the island. So basically, the Fountain was reachable just by searching the island, the cave and water portal were completely unnecessary.
I could get past all the unanswered questions, the original 3 had plenty of unexplained things as well, but it's mainly my 4 points that I had a problem with, which encompass the entire film. All the rest of the nonsense is just icing on this crap-cake.