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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

In Theatres: 
May 20, 2011
Running Time: 
2 Hours, 21 Minutes
Did you know!?

Penélope Cruz was pregnant throughout production, but it wasn't noticeable until September, 2010. As Penélope's baby bump grew, it caused some difficulties in wardrobe, so the producers enlisted the help of Cruz's younger sister, Mónica Cruz. According to reports, Penélope filmed the close-up shots, while Mónica doubled for her in the long-distance scenes.

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is one of Disney’s most successful and profitable films, grossing more than two billion dollars worldwide over the years. At its helm is Johnny Depp as the adventurous and rambunctious Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s battled cursed pirates aboard the Black Pearl, stood face to face with the monstrous Kraken, and even escaped Davy Jones’ Locker. He’s had his fair share of adventure to say the least but nothing can prepare him for what he’s about to face.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has Captain Jack in search of the legendary Fountain of Youth. He isn’t the only one in search of eternal life however, as both the British and the Spanish are after the same goal. To make matters even worse, the infamous Blackbeard (Ian McShane) has caught on to Jack’s plan and will go to any lengths to get there before the others.

Originally, the Pirates franchise was supposed to be a trilogy, but after its mega success how could you not make a fourth film? It’s clear that things are trying to go in a new direction, starting with Rob Marshall taking over the director’s chair from Gore Verbinski. Other notable absences include Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly. For them, the Will and Elizabeth romance story had ended with the third film. With a new cast of pirates being brought on board can the film renew interest in the famed series?

Zombies, mermaids and of course pirates all clash in the quest for eternal life. As usual, Johnny Depp shines as the star of the film. Everything, from his crazy mannerisms to his nonchalant attitude, even when staring death in the face, is the same Captain Jack we’ve loved from previous films. New to the franchise is the feisty Penélope Cruz as Angelica, the “one” that got away. She’s just as much a trickster as Jack in a sense and gives the film a much needed boost.

For the most part though, On Stranger Tides follows the same formula of past Pirates films. It’s all about the action and explosions and less about the story. There will be moments where you’ll wonder what exactly is going on or how everyone in the film knows exactly where the Fountain of Youth is. Sure, the sword fights and witty dialogue between Jack and everyone else is entertaining but you can’t help but want something a little more out of the film. It’s the same stuff we’ve seen over the past years and I was hoping that with Ian McShane and Penélope Cruz joining the cast, a new spark of interest would be ignited. Unfortunately, that wasn’t exactly the case.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is sure to make a big splash in theaters but it’s clear that the series is starting to sink. Were it not for Johnny Depp, I think we’d really be in much bigger trouble. It’s mildly entertaining and actions junkies are sure to get an adrenaline rush but the charm from the first films has officially worn off.

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Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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wolfkin's picture

just kidding. But for real the Pirates movies lost it's luster when the second movie wasn't a complete movie. Quite frankly as much as I love and enjoy Curse of the Black Pearl even that one now that I've rewatched it recently is a bit long. I remember when that second movie was insanely long and then it didn't even end.. I was angry. I'm never quite sure if I saw the third movie or if I fell asleep like I did with Transformers 1.

Peter Oberth's picture

Agree with you until you got to Transformers. The sequels, sure, but the first one was exactly what it should have been

wolfkin's picture

maybe if they had cut out the 45 minutes with no Optimus Prime I wouldn't have been so bored and tired by the time the action came on.. also maybe they could make the robots somewhat distinguishable from each other. I mean that was seriously a real problem I had in the movie theater. To be fair I think i might have been working all day and seen a late showing but i remember waking up and seeing robots fighting and had no idea who was who