"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" Review

Disney has been riding the wave of success with their Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  Three very successful movies have come and gone that were closely tied together with a flowing plot that brought you from one movie into the next.  With adventure, comedy, and great effects, the movies made their mark in the box offices.  Of course it did not hurt that they all starred named actors like Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom.  Though Disney was not done with Pirates, as they are releasing their fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie this upcoming Friday.

I got the chance to attend an advance screening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”  Arriving at the theaters, there was hope for this being a good movie as Disney has not released a bad “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie yet.  The cast list no longer has Orlando Bloom nor Keira Knightley, though Johnny Depp returns for his role of Captain Jack Sparrow.

The plot follows up after the original three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as Captain Jack Sparrow has been searching for the Fountain of Youth.  Time has passed since the last time we saw Jack.  He has found the Fountain of Youth, though he does not know the process needed to use the Fountain.  Returning from his journey, he learns that there is someone in London pretending to be him to get a crew for their ship.  Getting tangled up with the group in question, Jack is caught and brought upon the ship only to learn it’s the ship of Blackbeard.  As Blackbeard wants Jack to lead him to the Fountain of Youth.

There are two other teams trying to find the Fountain of Youth, the King of England has Captain Hector Barbossa working for them in leading the search, using Jack’s loyal friend, Joshamee Gibbs to lead the way.  The other team is the Spanish, whom we don’t see much of their story on the goal they seek out the Fountain of Youth for, as the plot mainly focuses on Blackbeard’s ship and Barbossa’s ship.

With lots of action and comedy, true to form with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, the three teams reach the land of the Fountain of Youth around the same time, with different courses of action to take they make their way to the goal.  I’ll leave what happens there for the movie to tell the story.

Overall my personal thoughts on the movie is that it was great.  My favorite of all four movies.  The stand alone plot, the characters, the action, and even the 3D was so well done with this movie.  Johnny Depp, as usual, did a wonderful job as Jack Sparrow, and Jack seem to have a lot more to do in this movie as he makes his way through the story line.  Kevin McNally kept Gibbs true to character, had a lot of great moments and helped keep Barbossa’s story moving smoothly.  Geoffrey Rush did a great job at playing Barbossa, with a few twists on why he is working for the King of England.  And Penélope Cruz did a wonderful job as Angelica, a spiteful girl who knew Jack once as a lover only for him to leave her.  Finding her life now as a Pirate, using Jack to get what she wants as he shows he still feels for her.

Gore Verbinski, director of the original three movies, did not return to direct this movie. Though this did not hurt the feel of the movie as Rob Marshall stepped in and kept things flowing perfectly.  Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio both returned from the original three movies to write this movie.  The two made the movie enjoyable for anyone who sees it, where you do not have to know the first three movies to get into the feeling of this stand alone plot.

Now onto the 3D, I’m finding more and more that movies are throwing 3D into them just for the few extra dollars you get at the box office.  I’ve felt this with movies like the “Green Hornet” where I originally saw it without the 3D, I went back to see the 3D and found it did not add or take from the movie, it was just there.  It’s made me a little numb towards the idea of movies coming out in 3D, while I’ll still try to see the 3D version, I feel movies are just as great without it.  So I was not excepting much of the 3D in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” With my guard down, the movie really did surprise me with their great use of 3D.  By no means did it change, hurt, or even distract from the plot line.  Though it did add to the theater going experience.  There was no time where I felt they did something just to add in the 3D, but there were a lot of the times where the 3D came out at you in the crowd where you felt like it was right there in front of you.  This movie shows that 3D can be a great feature for movies when done right!

With returning cast members, returning writers, a story all of its own and a new director “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” has shown that even with four movies, as long as the story and characters are enjoyable and interesting, it can go on with being a success.  This is the first of the Pirate of the Caribbean movies in which I hope to add to my personal DVD collection when it is released.

I recommend this movie to anyone who loves comedy, action, pirates, or just checking out a great movie.  It can be enjoyable all around.  Please do leave comments on your thoughts of the movie!

One last note to add, as all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies have done, there is something at the end of the credits.  So make sure to stick around for this short follow up scene.

Entertainment Earth



It's always gotta have Captain Jack Sparrow. (Can't forget the Captain part ;) )

This movie I thought was done very well and it had a lot of fun scenes. It will never beat the first pirates movie of course. :)