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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

The fourth film in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series, directed by Rob Marshall

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  • May 22, 2011
Written by Ted Eliott and Terry Rossio
Directed by Rob Marshall
Starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane
Barbosa: You haven’t changed.
Jack Sparrow: Implying the need.
It’s fitting really that the fourth installment in Disney’s PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN series, ON STRANGER TIDES, finds everyone’s favourite captain, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) searching frantically for the fountain of youth. The franchise itself has not exuded any true vigor since the first time it sent sail and, now serving under the new direction of Rob Marshall (CHICAGO), it simply drifts aimlessly at sea while trying to recapture its former glory. Drastic changes were made to the format, most notably a major cast overhaul, to rejuvenate it and allow it to stand alone as a one-off story in hopes of keeping Disney’s treasure chest plentiful. The only strange thing about these tides though is that anyone is still watching and waiting for them to come in.
Some of the aforementioned drastic changes include the shedding of previous series regulars, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly, to make room for fresh blood, Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane. Also gone are the overly complicated plot lines incorporated into the second and third installments to justify their existence. All they managed to do was infuriate audiences and suck all the fun out of the franchise anyway so that’s no loss. Instead, this adventure is meant to exist unto itself and it most certainly does this. It just doesn’t bother having any fun in the process. Depp returns as the character he has brought nothing new to for years now and he joins a bunch of other pirates, including Cruz, whom he had some sort of sordid affair with way back when, as they search for the location of the fountain of youth. Aside from an encounter with some of the most vicious mermaids I’ve ever seen, this amounts to little more than a lot of walking and talking in the jungle.
The truth is there is nothing strange about these tides really and this is why the film doesn’t work. A new director and a new approach were supposed to thrust some fresh gusts of wind into the aging franchise’s sails but all it truly manages is to raise this sunken ship to the surface again and leave it there to rock monotonously back and forth, in unnecessary 3D no less. (This by no means applies to McShane, who is the only point of interest past those scary mermaids.) Considering previous pirate complaints centered around how confusing it all got, I am surprised that Marshall leaves us with more confusion this time around too – more specifically, why is this series still going? Oh right, treasure.

Thanks for reading.
LUNCH rating is out of 10.

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May 23, 2011
good points. When I saw this one, I thought it was fun, but there were just so many missing things in its narrative that I gave it a middle of the road rating. (3/5) I also thought Marshall's action scenes were lacking, but that was just me. Thanks for the review, Joseph!
May 30, 2011
The first action scene in the palace started in such a lackluster fashion but finished better with the carriage chase. But that sword fight with Penelope in the dark? As if we aren't supposed to know it's her. It was tacky.
More Pirates of the Caribbean: On S... reviews
review by . May 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise have always proven to be profitable, despite its somewhat lackluster sequels. Fans of the original film were a bit disappointed how the sequels didn’t turn out to be as fun. Well, Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall tries to return to the sensibilities that made the first film so much fun; taking inspiration from the story “On Stranger Tides” by Tim Powers, Bruckheimer and company seems poised to take back the ’pirate …
review by . May 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I recall when the first Pirates of the Caribbean came out that I thought it would be a terrible movie.  In the first place it was based on a theme park ride.  And in the second place it had a horrible title.  When I saw it, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  I enjoyed the clever and witty dialog and I enjoyed the simple, yet fun story.  And best of all, Johnny Depp played one of the most memorable characters in recent cinema: Jack Sparrow.  It was only a matter of …
review by . July 02, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I skipped this film in theaters last summer because of the bad reviews and negative word of mouth. That was a big mistake. This was the best of the series so far.      Rob Marshall reinvented this series when he took over. There was nothing wrong with the previous storyline, but it had come to its conclusion in At World's End. Keira Knightly's and Orlando Bloom's characters were gracefully written out and the series was ready for something new. Marshall instead of …
review by . May 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   It took me two different screenings to fully absorb Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, one being a midnight screening and the other being a repeat screening with my Dad (it’s one of my favorite traditions). I actually had a chance recently to re-watch the trilogy, and the latter two still stand out as my favorites. I really dug the supernatural parts of the story like Davy Jones and his crew and how things slowly built toward that colossal, one-hour scuffle between …
review by . May 16, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' 'Two Jews On Film' Say Jump On Board This Ship (Video)
'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' directed by Rob Marshall is the fourth film of this franchise...And in my opinion, the best.        Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow but this time, except for Geoffrey Rush (Captain Hector Barbossa) and Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs) there's a whole new set of characters that may or may not want to do him harm...including the beautiful, enigmatic, Pirate...Angelica (Penelope Cruz).    …
review by . May 20, 2011
Review: Fourth ‘Pirates' Movie Keeps Series Strong
   Usually I find a series to be worn out when they go anywhere beyond a third movie, but Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides changed my opinion on that. Although the 3D scenes made it a little too Disney cheesy, the love and hate banter between Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa, terrifying mermaids, and the new “it” couple made me fall in love all over again with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.      The fourth installment finds Jack, Captain …
review by . May 21, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio are amazing men. Their screenplays can confuse audiences just as easily as they can entertain. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth film in the hugely successfully Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer franchise and the first to be released in 3D, is exuberant fun – and damn near impossible to keep track of. Some of the blame rests on the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, a man known for his lies, trickery, …
review by . June 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   One of our beloved characters has returned back to initiate this franchise into a new trilogy. While is taken as the fourth installment, On Stranger Tides is actually the start of a new trilogy because of the new totally different and unconnected story from the first series.      The main story strangely revolves around the duel between Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard (Ian McShane) building anticipation for the final stage of their on-going battle. …
review by . May 23, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Here’s a sequence from the new Pirates of the Caribbean flick: Penelope Cruz is Angelica, and Ian McShane is Blackbeard her father.  Johnny Depp is, of course, Jack Sparrow (there should be a captain in there somewhere.) They are searching for the Fountain of Youth.  Depp leads the way, but they come to a giant, uncrossable chasm.  For some unexplained reason, someone must jump into the chasm.  Cruz volunteers, but McShane says no – Depp must do it.  Depp balks, …
review by . August 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
For number 4 in this series, this bad boy isn't a stinker. I did miss Bloom and Knightley, but Depp is still good/bad ol Cap'n Jack, and Rush is back as well bringing his creepy elements to the whole story. Penelope Cruz adds a little feminine touch as the daughter (? is she or isn't she?)  of the infamous Blackbeard.      And speaking of feminine touch. I will NEVER look at a mermaid quite the same way again. Shudder. Who knew?      If you …
About the reviewer
Joseph Belanger ()
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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About this movie



Director: Rob Marshall
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Release Date: May 20, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott
Runtime: USA: 141 min
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
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