Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Jack Sparrow is back....hooray?....
Shiver me timbers mateys, and blow me down! We have ourselves another adventure on the high seas. I see on a forth night that we be destined for more treasure, as this is bound to be one epic journey, ye might not soon forget. Now lets be off ye swabs, and get this adventure underway. Hoist the thine anchor and buckle down the hatches....argh!
I do apologize, as I couldn't resist. As it turns out, another "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie is upon us. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is still up to his own dastardly deeds, as he attempts to find the elusive fountain of youth. Like always, the British government wants him hanged, and he's having to compete with another devious pirate for the prize. After the third movie, I truly didn't think there was much more they could do with this franchise to keep it interesting, and it looks like I was right.
Although the film does have it's moments, it just comes off rather boring in comparison to it's other movies. Unlike the new one, the older movies were a lot of fun to watch. Sure, the films ranged along the lines of pure camp to mindless stupidity, but they were never boring. If anything, they were highly enjoyable in spite of their flaws. However, with the way the last "Pirates" film ended, what more can you honestly do with this franchise to keep it interesting? Yes, I'm well aware at the end of the third film, they did mention the possibility of Jack pursuing the fountain of youth, but is that really a good idea? After all, weren't the previous three movies that were released enough? What more could you do to top off what they've already done?
The first "Pirates" movie introduced audiences to this magical world where it brought to life one of Disney's most popular theme park rides. Not only engulfing the viewers' imaginations into a world with spectacular visual effects, it also featured arguably the greatest performance we've ever seen from Johnny Depp. Although the story was tragically predictable as sin, it was never boring to watch. Jack Sparrow brought a lot of comedy and charm to the film that featured a lot of one dimensional characters. In fact, one could say that if it wasn't for him, then the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies would've downright sucked. In addition to Johnny's great performance, the villains of the first movie were certainly very colorful, as Jack wasn't just taking on a pirate that stolen his crew and ship. No, he was battling ghost pirates that truly pushed the edge of visual effects that could still rival any of today's modern films. And sure the movies may have been too overly predictable, but they were a lot of fun to watch, as it provided a great form of escapism in spite of it's many flaws.
In the sequel, audiences were treated to a villain like no other in Davy Jones; which again provided audiences with a visual treat that nobody could've fathomed before the film's release. As Davy Jones wasn't just a pirate that ruled the seven seas. No, he was a mutant squid faced pirate that struck fear into the heart of it's audiences along with his colorful mutant misfits. Not only that, but the sequel was arguably funnier than the first one to boot.
Then when the third one rolled around, Jack not only took on Davy Jones and his mutant outcasts again, he also had to confront almost all the other pirates from across the globe. Seriously, after watching an adventure where it's so enormously big to require Jack to take on that many adversaries, then wouldn't any other challenge after the third film be deemed petty by comparison? Of course, that's just me. However, in an era where Hollywood is more obsessed with churning out sequels until a franchise dies, then I guess we shouldn't be that surprised by this movie.
Don't get me wrong, Black Beard may have been known to be one of the most feared pirates in history, but he seems uninteresting in this franchise by comparison. Maybe if Black Beard would've been the first pirate that Jack encountered, then I might be impressed. Unfortunately, once you've seen Jack take on Davy Jones, a giant squid and cheating death countless of times, a voodoo pirate isn't exactly that impressive nor even remotely interesting.
If anything, this film just comes off as another lame duck sequel in a petty attempt to raise more money for the franchise. However, I will give this film some credit for ditching Orlando Bloom and Knightley for this sequel, as they were both just really annoying in the previous movies. Of course, that quickly gets cancelled out, as we're introduced to another sappy half hazard love story that happens to be between a preacher and a mermaid?!? Yes, I know that might sound weird, but it's true. To make matters worse though, I think the preacher and the mermaid could be potentially more annoying than Knightley and Bloom... so much for that positive spin on this sequel.
Although the film isn't really that great, it's really not that bad either. No, I would have to say "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is mediocre at best. Fairly decent if you're yearning to watch a movie purely for fun. The special effects are pretty much what you'd expect from a blockbuster film, and the 3-D cinematography is definitely worth the price of admission if you can afford it.
In the end, if you're looking for a decent film to watch with the family, then look no further than "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." However, if you're expecting a great family oriented fantasy epic along the lines of "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe", then you'll definitely be disappointed with this film. Overall, I would have to give this movie a two out of four.