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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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I'm sorry Jack, but I just didn't cared for you this time. Savvy?

  • Jun 6, 2011

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. Captain Barbossa, now a one legged man, is sent in the name of King George of England to find the two silver cups which are to be found on Ponce De Leon's ship. On the other hand, Blackbeard wants to reach the Fountain of Youth where he dreams to gain the years of another person or simply put: more life. Surprise or not, there is a ritual and for that ritual he needs the two silver cups and a tear from a mermaid. Yes, there are mermaids in the movie. They also deadly and frustrated I guess. However, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) gets thrown in this by meeting the one who impersonated him and told the people that he was the real Jack Sparrow, a tricky double. That double is a "she" played by the wonderful and gracious Penelope Cruz. Let's not go that far though. She plays Angelica, daughter of Blackbeard. We all get the point after this reveal. Jack Sparrow is condemned to help Blackbeard reach his destination. We also find that Blackbeard's main reason to gain more life is an actual prophecy that fortells his death brought in two weeks by the "one legged man". The "one legged man" is actually the man he cut his legs off few months before and stole his ship. From this point over the story runs not only predictable (not that it didn't ran before) but also monotone. Along their journey to the Fountain of Youth we get a glimpse of Jack's old friend Gibbs (Kevin McNally), Phillip (Sam Claflin) a young christian believer, Syrena (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) which is a lovely mermaid and Scrum (Stephen Graham), one of Blackbeard's "servants". We get through many fuzzy moments and pretty much boring. There is a big loss of excitement since there's nothing really new that can be said or shown in this franchise and definitely we really lost interest in the story since it's the beginning of a new one and it isn't even half the level of "The Curse of the Black Pearl's". We get an washed-up piece of entertainment filled with religious tomato-sauce and atheist pastry. You get the point of that. We get a couple of angry mermaids, we get a love story, we get few clicheic moments and more than anything we get a "shocking" ending to this new beginning. Nothing impressive, just the expected. The final act, the final confrontation it's exciting in terms of action but lacks in terms of storytelling and delivery. We also get the Spaniards (another group chasing the two silver cups) being actually smarter than all but ruined it at the end of the movie by doing one of the most stupid things I ever saw on screen. If you ever get what was that stupid thing I'd probably consider sending you 10 bucks. With all that we get that this movie has barely anything to do with Jack Sparrow. He's like a pawn or let's not exaggerate and say that he's more of a Mad-Man on a chess table played by Kings. He didn't really achieved anything in this movie and we didn't get any conclusion about his character's past, present or future...

Overall a boring fiasco well-executed that proves that this movie isn't necessarily a bad one but more an irrelevant, unnecessary, predictable, monotone, obvious and lifeless piece of filmmaking. But was it well executed? As far as I remember, I witnessed the most choreographed battle scenes I ever saw in cinema. Seriously, I understand they all need choreography but at least make them feel spontaneous and natural not forced and looking like they were practiced over and over again and the only thing Depp had in mind was to not mess it up. Not to mention because of this choreography, some battle scenes are actually hilarious and unfunny. I heard some "mehs" in the theater... Besides that, the 3D was far from being great. A lot of inconsistency and bad contrast, bad depth of field, bad blurred images and so on... It could have been much better.

The positive thing about On Stranger Tides is mainly Johnny Depp. Even though he isn't as funny or ridiculous as he was, even though this movie was not centered around him he still did the best he could do with the material he had. Johnny Depp is still Jack Sparrow and he'll forever be Jack Sparrow. I must say something that might enrage some fans out there: with all it's charismatic behavior, Jack Sparrow did not stole the show. No he didn't! Ian McShane as Blackbeard stole the show. His delivery cranked everybody up and he was a fascinating character to watch. He had potential to become a real nemesis of Sparrow's but who knows? Maybe he'll return the way the writers could always find a new curse or a new magical land that does the impossible. All the other roles were played accurately, even Penelope Cruz was enjoyable even if her moments on the screen were short and most of them lacked in sense and good development of her character. I think at times I found the acting too good for this boring story, I found the beautiful shots too much for this pointless flick and definitely found the music too epic for this epicless movie.

As a fan of this franchise I declare myself disappointed, not in Jack, not in Blackbeard or Barbossa and not in a new beginning but in execution, bad writing, bad structure and especially in the people responsible for the production of this movie for making a big U-Turn from the first trilogy to this second one. I'm sorry Jack, but I just didn't cared for you this time. Savvy?

Storyline/Dialogue: 6/10.
Acting: 7,5/10.
Technical Execution: 7,8/10.
Replay Value: 5,5/10.
Overall: 6,8

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June 07, 2011
hahah. love that review headline. I too had mixed feelings about this one; although I have to say that it had some parts that let it fly above the curse of mediocrity. Nice review!
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Do Not Board.
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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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