Last year, many hardcore Jack Sparrow fans were divided after hearing the announcement about Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The previous trilogy of films wrapped up the story nicely and many wondered if Johnny Depp could still make his iconic character interesting. Plus, a new director and the loss of key actors Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley didn’t help matters. But we’re happy to say that Pirates 4 has surpassed the expectations and is a worthy addition to the beloved franchise.
To be honest, the one character we would have really hated to lose was Geoffrey Rush’s Captain Barbossa. A true scene stealer and an awesome sparring companion for Captain Jack, having Rush on board is a major boost for Stranger Tides. And we can wholeheartedly say that Geoffrey does a fantastic job with his over-the-top pirate caricature, right down to the wooden peg leg!
Speaking of great pirate caricatures, the Stranger Tides ensemble has added a real life legend of the seven seas. Ian McShane’s portrayal of Blackbeard is just as vicious and iconic as those historical stories you’ve heard about. Sporting a zombie crew and insanely large sword (which looks great in 3D), this bad guy is just as memorable as old squidface from the last set of sequels.
Another new addition to the cast is Angelica, played by Blogamole regularPenelope Cruz. Though we hate to say it, Penelope is probably the least interesting part of the movie. Though she does have some fun scenes with Johnny Depp, her character never really gels with the overall storyline and the romantic subplot between Captain Jack and Angelica seems to fizzle before the third act.
But with so much sword fighting, fiery explosions, and epic shipwrecks happening in between, it’s not like you’ll even notice. Pirates 4 never tries too hard to meld itself into a love story (though there is an interesting mermaid romance thrown in). It’s obvious the creators know that fans love the movie series’ trademark comedy, action, and fantasy and you can bet Stranger Tides delivers on that promise!
Johnny Depp slips into Captain Jack’s boots flawlessly. So much so, it hardly seems like he ever stepped away from the character. Plus the supernatural storyline involving the fountain of youth is actually rather interesting and leads to a great bombastic finale. There is no doubt that On Stranger Tides is destined to be a summer smash, and thankfully it’s well deserved!
Bottom line: One of the great things about Stranger Tides is that you don’t have to be a fan of the series to “get it.” This is a movie that definitely stands on its own, but still offers plenty of winks and nudges for die-hard fans (including a nice homage to the Disneyland ride). Plus, the 3D aspect gives Johnny and company a fresh new perspective. But be sure you take care of your bathroom breaks before the movie starts. At two hours and change, you won’t want to leave your seat for quite a long time!
By Michael Lopez