Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a 2011 Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films action adventure fantasy film and is the fourth film chronologically in the Pirates of the Caribbean series preceded by 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.  The series itself is based on the Disneyland theme park ride Pirates of the Caribbean, but this film is also based on the novel On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers.  It was released in conventional theaters, Disney Digital 3D, and IMAX 3D.

The film stars Academy Award Nominee Johnny Depp, Academy Award Winner Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, and Academy Award Winner Geoffrey Rush.

The music is written and composed by Academy Award Winning Composer Hans Zimmer (or at least he’s credited).

The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films and is produced and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.

It is directed by Academy Award Nominated Director Rob Marshall.

Welcome back to the world where Johnny Depp wears eye liner lades and gentlemen!!!  It’s been 4 years since the last Pirates of the Caribbean film…….and I was so happy to be rid of this series too.

Rob Marshall brought us the third best film in the series and that’s not saying much.  The character of Johnny Depp returns as the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, only now he has no ship.  Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan are no where to be seen (thank God), and are replaced with new characters like Angelica and Blackbeard.  Geoffrey Rush is BACK and still having way too much fun being himself on film.  And to top it all off, they are searching for The Fountain of Youth!!!  We are thrown back into the world of the pirate and are taken on another mediocre adventure that lasts way too long.

On Stranger Tides does something that the last two sequels didn’t do and ultimately suffered greatly from: Jack Sparrow is not the focus on the story.  The race for the fountain is the main plot that follows three different crews on their separate voyages, and Jack just happens to be on board one of the ships.  The addition of a few new secondary characters add some much needed humor to the movie.  Being its own story and not a direct sequel like At World’s End was allows people that maybe only saw the first movie to come back and watch this one without having to know who everyone is.

Hans Zimmer returns to score the movie and continues to rip off EVERYTHING that Klaus Badelt had started from the first movie.  There really isn’t any new music piece in this movie, just remixed versions of songs we’ve heard before.  This is something that a new composer does on his first movie, not an Academy Award Winning Composer does.  But oh well.  Badelt wrote such an amazing score for the first movie that it really doesn’t matter that it’s just rehashed songs from the other movies.

Keeping up with popular trends, On Stranger Tides was released in 3D.  Unlike most films though, I really didn’t mind the 3D in this movie.  Maybe it was because Rob Marshall was able to use James Cameron‘s 3D Fusion Camera System (used to shoot Avatar, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Tron: Legacy, Sanctum, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon), but the 3D did look impressive in this movie.  There is always a clear different when a movie is shot in 3D opposed to converting it in post production, which is what was done with Thor, Priest, and Clash of the Titans.

The lowest point of the movie is the INSANE run time.  Topping out at 2 hours and 30 minutes, it’s by far the longest movie to come out this year.  Unfortunately, it was completely unnecessary.  Many scenes drug on for far too long.  40 minutes could have easily been cut out of this film.  Honestly, if that had been done, this movie would have been much better.

I have to say, Penélope Cruz was another low point of the movie.  I really don’t understand why people like her.  You can’t understand her English through half the movie, and since she was pregnant during shooting, you can see which scenes were shot while early on in the pregnancy and which were shot in month 8.  Her face just gets big to small to big to bigger to smaller…etc.  It’s kind of funny actually to watch.  But unfortunately when you got Johnny Depp talking as Jack Sparrow (which is already hard enough to follow) but then you throw in Cruz’s second, third, or ninth language……it’s hard to follow.

Blackbeard was the main villain, I think, actually he just seemed more like a guy with a mission and wasn’t going to let people get in his way.  Yeah, he claims to be a evil man, but honestly, he just seems to act like a pirate.  Ian McShane looked like he was having a blast playing the part, but that doesn’t save this movie.  Also, there are plot holes in the movie that never really get explained.  Like why Blackbeard can do some of the things he does?  I don’t want to get too detailed, but it did keep me thinking about it.

Overall, it’s better than At World’s End but not as good Dead Man’s Chest……Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is just another movie where Johnny Depp gets to wear eye liner and act like a crazy idiot.

a 4 out of 10

(release date: 20 May 2011)

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~ by Matt Whitfield on June 9, 2011.

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