Yarrr mateys! What makes you think you are worthy to serve under the command of captain Jack Sparrow?
Well nowadays I guess anything.
In my own defense I must take a stand for my unpopular opinion: I enjoy all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. My favorite being Dead Man’s Chest and first and third being tied second place for different virtues.
There you have it! I am not trustworthy!
Nobody but a soddin’ pirate would watch At World’s End and admit he liked it!
So I hope you catch my bias and know that this fanboy review will be not even remotely objective nor will it be the film suggestion of a rational human being.
That out of the way I must say I was glad when Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was finally over. The movie is way shorter than At World’s End but still drags over two hours – the word drags being an understatement.
Watching On Stranger Tides made me experience all the stuff people complained about the Pirates sequels which I never saw in part 2 and 3 – that they were a cash in, uninspired, having a story that didn’t justify such a running time and felt like they lost the spark that had made Pirates so great and unique.
The thing that can be called story starts in London, featuring a stereotype of the british monarchy serving as a setup for an uninspired action scene. I hope I don’t sound too redundant in this review since I have my bottle o’ rum next to me, but I don’t think I can say uninspired quite enough since it just describes everything – and yeah the fountain of youth is the setup for this movie, but it could be set-piece nr23 or strange chest nr13 as well.
From the lazy soundmix that is sold as a soundtrack (every major theme except the monotonous “mermaid theme” is recycled) to the dialog and of course the entire plot everything is trapped to feel like a very very bad copy that missed the basic ingredients of what makes a fun pirate movie. I really tried to get in the mood – for Christ’s sakes I can watch Dead Man’s Chest and enjoy the 20 minutes cannibal island scene, it shouldn’t be too hard to get motivated for this movie…
People can complain about Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End like they want, at least the motivation in those movies was clear: Davy Jones was evil, but not just that he was cruel, he also had a tragic past which made him a little more relateable.
This does not apply to Blackbeard (Ian McShane) who is just there for the sake of it and for pointing a 3D knife at the screen. His ship can move ropes by his command and shoot fire, but not as if that would actually matter.
Remember the amazing seabattles in Pirates 1-3? Yeah screw that! What the audience really loves is boring hiking with nothing happening and the spanish armada is also around… somewhere… like anyone cares or acts as if they were an actual threat.
Penelope Cruz gets thrown in to serve as a loveinterest as uninspired and uncharismatic as Blackbeard – maybe the writers wanted to flesh out the vague backstory between Cruz and McShane by giving them equally boring characters so they would share the same aura of disinterest (by the way rum with milk is not a good idea).
Speaking of disinterest, you might have seen those mermaid posters with that guy on them… hinting at some kind of William Turner/Elizabeth Swan lovestory, but don’t worry, their story is not really important for the plot – not that anything is (on a sidenote the rum works with a piece of sugar, like Marry Poppins told us, makes the medicine go down!).
Sure they find some convoluted reason to waste time on this character (who is a priest and putting faith into Pirates of the Caribbean works even less than a giant Kraken and a goddess who represents the sea) but the entire mermaid section could have been cut from the movie without affecting it – that being said there is really nothing happening.
I remember some action sequences, but none of them really gripping and after one hour had passed I found myself regularly checking the clock dreading that this shipwreck would continue for at least one more hour.
At the end apathy had just overtaken me. The performances were by the numbers (especially Depp’s Jack Sparrow whom I enjoyed in all three parts) and the plot has neither the dynamic of the first Pirates nor are there enough special effects or amazing/creative sequences to make us enjoy the spectacle.
The entire movie feels as ill fitting as the random thing at the end that renders the entire two hours pointless – but thankfully at this point we are already too drunk to care what the movie is all about.
I know a review seldom changes one’s motivation to go to a movie and especially with Pirates this review is kinda pointless since this movie will attract the crowd like it attracted me (although to my defense I at least enjoyed the first three so it was the first time I was disappointed by a Pirates movie).
But… if you’ve been on the fence whether to watch that movie and really want to watch a summer blockbuster funride AND if you haven’t yet seen Fast Five:
Screw Pirates of the Caribbean and it’s horrible overpriced 3D and catch the next screening for Fast Five – even if you are not as swayed as I was by Fast Five (still have to put up the review) you can’t be more disappointed than by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.