Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - 5 out of 5
When the first Pirates film was announced, I was a little skeptical. How could the house that a mouse built make a feature length film based on a ride? However, after watching the trailers, I gave the film a shot and was incredibly surprised on how cool it was. However, the two the came after it weren't the best. The 2nd was mediocre and the 3rd disappointed me. So, when it was announced that a new film would come out--and it shouldn't be a surprised since, despite his popularity with the ladies, the Pirates films are the only movies Johnny Depp has done that actually makes money--I was slightly hesitant. But, like the first film, after seeing the trailer, I was sold. In fact, this movie is so good, it completely redeems the poor quality of the third film.
Yes, the surprised look of a man who just accidentally crapped in his pants.
On Stranger Tides sees the return of Captain Jack Sparrow and it seems someone is using his name to gather a crew on a mission to find the Fountain of Youth. Falling into the trap strewn about by an old lover, Jack ends up aboard Queen Anne's Revenge, the flagship of the dreaded Blackbeard. Forced into service thanks to threats and voodoo, Blackbeard uses Sparrow and his unique compass and colorful past to get to the Fountain in order to ensure that the dreaded pirate can continue ruling the seas. Meanwhile, Sparrow's old nemesis Barbossa has joined forces with the British crown in order to get to the Fountain first...although, Barbossa is mostly in it for revenge after his leg and The Black Pearl were taken from the mystic loving evil pirate.
Ian McShane is just a amazing as Blackbeard.
This new installment of the Pirates series takes an almost fresh start to the franchise but contains all the things we loved from the previous films. The music and look still make me want to live the pirate life, albeit without the STDs and scurvy, and the combination of a simultaneous grounded and over-the-top supernatural story makes for a cocktail of awesome. Geoffrey Rush is still a scene-stealer as Captain Hector Barbossa and Johnny Depp once again proves that the only role I can stand him in is as Jack Sparrow--let's be honest, if it wasn't for his life partner, Tim Burton, he wouldn't have a career because his acting sure wouldn't build it for him (in case you missed the sarcasm, I'm saying Depp isn't a very talented actor).
"Is that the last slice of pizza?"
However, the one man who steals the movie is the film's villain, played by foul-mouth throwing Al Swearengen himself from Deadwood; Ian McShane. McShane looks, sounds and acts like he really is a pirate and almost makes me believe that somehow Doc Brown and Marty used the DeLorean to bring back the real Blackbeard. The film's only real downside is that Penelope Cruz plays Jack Sparrow's love interest and Blackbeard's daughter; Angelica Teach. I'm not the biggest fan of Cruz and always finds her to be...passable in her roles. She doesn't offer up much screen presence to be memorable but her downfalls will quickly be overlooked as the story delivers to us a character that will make you wish for his death every two minutes. Well, it's not so much the character but the actor who plays him. Stephen Graham (probably best known for playing Tommy in Snatch) plays Scrum and it seems he felt being annoying is the same as being a pirate. However, this is really the film's only bad aspects. The rest is pure gold...pirates' gold!
Keith Richards never looked better.
Gore Verbinski, who directed the previous three films, was replaced by Rob Marshall (Memoirs of a Geisha) and he takes over at the helm. However, unless you really pay attention, you would never notice as the film stays very true to the tone that was established in the very first film. The costumes, the music, the beautiful locations, the action mixed with just the right amount of humor is all here--and the lack of Orlando Bloom is also a plus!! Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is said, by Disney's head of Production; Oren Aviv, to be the beginning of another trilogy and, if that's true, it's one hell of a start. Savvy?
Oh yeah, I forgot, there's mermaids in this one. But be careful, Ariel will rip your face off.