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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

pirates of the caribbean, pirates of the caribbean on stranger tides, on stranger tides

I’ve already stated that I’m a huge fan of Johnny Depp, but I’m also a very huge fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. When I first watched the original film, my friend forced me to watch it out of her love for Orlando Bloom (who I’m not a fan of). The previews for the original POTC looked good, but I love pirates and the movie looked like a joke to me. I didn’t see how I could possibly like a movie that made a joke of pirates. I have never been more wrong in my life. The next day after watching POTC, I went out and bought the DVD and watched the movie on repeat for an entire summer. To say I’ve seen the original more than 500 times would not be an exaggeration in the slightest. That being said, I really love the Pirates franchise and have very high expectations. I don’t think either Dead Mans Chest or At World’s End came close to recreating the magic and excitement in the original.

While On Stranger Tides¬† doesn’t match the first either, it offers a fresh start to the series. Despite my dislike for Orlando Bloom, I will give him credit for what he did with the character of Will. He did what he could with the role, but the character was very one dimensional. He had little to no personality and I hated him. I am beyond thrilled that neither Will nor Elizabeth are in the fourth installment. The series is about Jack Sparrow and I felt Will and Elizabeth were taking away from it. So I’m glad that On Stranger Tides brought it back to the basics: the journey of Captain Jack Sparrow.

I love the characters that they kept. I love that Barbossa is still there and him and Jack have this love/hate relationship. Geoffrey Rush is such a talented actor. Him and Johnny Depp have such great chemistry and its a pleasure to watch them interact. I’m also very glad Gibbs came back. Again, the relationship he has with Jack is very important to me. He is Jack’s one true friend, no matter what Jack does to him, in the end they always work it out. I think that’s a necessary thing. I hope one day Jack gets the Pearl back so he and Gibbs can sail with a real ship! I do have to say I missed Pintel and Ragetti. They were so charming as evil pirates, but I understand the need to get rid of characters to start a new beginning.

The film also introduced some new characters and actors: Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane and Sam Claflin. I’m not a huge fan of Penelope Cruz and wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Jack having a serious love interest. However, I thought she did a great job with the role, and I think the writers handled it very well. I really enjoyed the ending of their relationship. Its still open but Jack isn’t tied down. Jack Sparrow is not the settling type. I thought Ian McShane was great but I’m not sure if I liked how they handled Blackbeard. I wish they tried to make him a little more realistic, and true to the legends of Blackbeard. I was expecting more typical pirating and less of the paranormal sci-fi (although, I’m not sure why since all three prior movies relied heavily on it, I guess its due to Blackbeard being a historical figure rather than fiction). There was also something with his eyes, that made him seem cartoonish. I had a hard time taking him seriously. Sam Claflin did a great job playing Philip the missionary. He is a newcomer to Hollywood but fit in great with the cast of seasoned actors in the film. I really enjoyed the fresh air he brought to the film. His character was great for the serious scenes but also adding comedic relief when needed.

Overall the movie was good. It wasn’t exceptional, but I enjoyed it none the less. I like the way it ended as previously mentioned with Jack and Angelica, but also with Jack and Gibbs. I thought that was perfect. My only major criticism surrounds the overall plot. I felt that they tried to do a lot and tell a lot of stories but it was too much for the movie. They either needed to cut some out or make the film longer. The third movie was close to three hours in length, I feel this movie easily could have been made a similar length. Also, while trying to introduce, tell and conclude all the storylines I feel they all suffered because there was really no major climax or show down. It was all very matter of fact. Where there was the big scene in all the others: Isla de Muerta (1), Davy Jones vs Jack vs the Kracken (2), Final Battle (3), the fourth seemed lacking. There was a battle at the end over the Fountain of Youth but it wasn’t nearly as big as similar ones in the previous movies, or they could have made it.¬†

I still recommend giving the movie a chance. Its a great addition to the franchise even if its not as good as the original. Its a fun, adventure movie with a great cast.

B+/A- (despite its flaws, I really did enjoy it!)

Filed under Geoffrey Rush angelica barbossa blackbeard captain jack captain jack sparrow film ian mcshane jack sparrow johnny depp media review movie movie review on stranger tides penelope cruz pirates 4 pirates of the caribbean pirates of the caribbean on stranger tides pirates of the caribbean: on stranger tides pirates review potc 4 potc: ost serena the black pearl Kevin McNally gibbs