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21 May 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) Review

Directed by: Rob Marshall:
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian Mcshane and Geoffrey Rush
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Runtime: 138 Minutes-shorter than the last two.

It is definitely the worst of the lot, but a fresh start. Unlike the previous two the budget is lower, so the visuals are okay in this one so not much fancy stuff going on here. If you have seen my reviews of all the Pirates films, you will notice how the order of rating goes down each time, but that’s how I feel about them. The budget is half of At World’s end at $150 million, so it’s nice to know it isn’t going to be a big CGI adventure. The story is more simple, and is a race to the fountain of youth which is what was great about this film, but what’s this? Where’s Gore Verbinski in the director’s chair? Director Rob Marshall takes Verbinski’s place, which was a bit of a mistake because the direction was pretty bad. Once again Jack is on another adventure, this time for the fountain of youth and once again Captain Barbossa appears in the film. Stars Ian Mcshane and Penelope Cruz are also featured in this as Blackbeard and his daughter, Angelica.

Taking place somewhat time after At World’s End the previous crew of the films that we all knew and remembered the films for on some degree, are now gone. Although they kept Jack, Barbossa and Mr. Gibbs in the film, it’s just not as interesting anymore. Well our film begins with Jack being put on trial at London, which we soon discover is actually Mr. Gibbs. However, a mysterious Judge - Sparrow in disguise - sentences Gibbs to life in prison and transfers Gibbs to jail under minimum security. During their well co-ordinated and exciting escape, having apparently given up on finding the Fountain, Sparrow reveals he came due to an imposter before he and Gibbs are arrested by crown forces. Pretty soon they end up on the vessel of Blackbeard himself and it’s a race to get to the fountain of youth.
Jack during his escape in London.
The Next Villain:
To be honest, I didn’t feel this guy had much personality. As a villain he didn’t have much of a dramatic entry like that of Davy Jones, and he just overall isn’t scary or intimidating, despite his giant sword. Blackbeard also has a daughter, whom Jack attempts to reveal as NOT the daughter of him. Blackbeard doesn’t really do that much to set the score he is a villain so he is a failed character to the story, which is a shame seeing he is close to the centre of the plot.
Ian Mcshane as 'Blackbeard'.
Was a Spin-off necessary?
I just want to know why big money maker Jerry Bruckheimer (Producer of the series) decided that a spin-off was possible. Never mind money making, think of the story itself. It’s the point of filmmaking at an artistic value, not just because it’s going to rake money in. But forget about that side of the argument, the film just isn’t close to as exciting as the rest. I also wouldn’t consider it a total spin-off because the third film does leave us with talk of the fountain of youth, but the writers Ted Rossio and Ted Elliot decided it was going to be the end of the trilogy. It’s annoying that you can’t call it an exciting trilogy anymore. It would be if someone made a Back to the future 4, you just wouldn’t want it!

New Director, new plan:
The director wanted to try and make this one feel more like the first one, which it does in some way because of how new characters are introduced to the story as if the previous characters never existed. The new director will alter the rest of the films, giving the narration and direction a different touch. I felt the direction definitely could have been improved, but the story was okay.

Just when you thought it was over:
Now this has come to a shock to me. Apparently the writers have begun to write the screenplay for the fifth and sixth films, so it will be the second trilogy and will make The Pirates of the Caribbean a saga! For better, for worse it’s a stupid idea. Just leave the great characters as they are and stop trying to go deeper and deeper into the story because you had success with the story at the beginning! Disney plan to film them back-to-back just like the second and third films, so it looks like the world will never rid of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. It’s nice that actors Johnny Depp and such get to play their characters again, because Depp said he wanted to act as Jack again. But for the audience it isn’t all that exciting. Regardless I’m keeping things like this away from affecting the rating of this film. I love Jack as a character and it’s great seeing him get out of situations, but this one character doesn’t save the entire film.

It may be the start of a new trilogy, but the film is just ‘okay’ because of its attempt to be like the first film, even though it doesn’t do a particularly good job at it. If there happens to be these films I would like to see some of the original characters back. This film has bad direction, recycled acting (in that of Barbossa and Jack), but has a nice clean start with a fairly entertaining and SIMPLE goal. This time it’s just a one on one race (which soon becomes a three-way race because of the Spanish) so this one isn’t that complex plot we know the story for. Hans Zimmer is also back to do the music, which definitely boosts the score for this film because his great music gives lots of edge to the action scenes.  Some of the characters are dull; the CGI is very low, excluding the very exciting mermaids and could have been better. Regardless the story was simple, interesting and had some pretty nice action going on. It’s overall an okay film but definitely weak in narration. It may very well be the start of as new series, so hold onto your hats because who knows how long this will go for. Hopefully the series gets a little better.

My Rating: 5/10

1 comment:

  1. Just watched it a couple hours ago. I also thought it was okay. I thought it was going to bring back the solidness from COTBP...but it didn't much. ut I kind of enjoyed it though.



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