Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the fourth installment in Disney’s famous film series based on a theme park ride. Fourth installment? I don’t even know what the first three were about! The plot of these things have always been very confusing to me, and none of the characters were all that interesting, so I was never into any of these films. I went into On Stranger Tides with a positive attitude, and to my surprise, I actually enjoyed it.
Johnny Depp reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, and I still don’t get what’s so good about this character. To me, he’s just a guy who walks around without any real objective and somehow manages to survive (*cough*harrypotter*cough*). Keith Richards makes a cameo as Jack’s father, which is cute and passes by quickly.
Jack’s romantic relationship with Penelope Cruz’s character, Angelica, was interesting to see but ultimately went nowhere. I have to say that Cruz’s acting was pretty good, although I kind of miss Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom. Speaking of Orlando Bloom, there’s a new bloke here played by Sam Claflin, and his character injected just enough emotion into this otherwise superficial action flick.
The best acting performance here is Ian Mcshane as Captain Blackbeard. As contrived as the plot of On Stranger Tides is, something about Blackbeard feels right. Everyone is trying to find the Fountain of Youth, and Blackbeard being the best pirate of all time, wants a slice of the pie. In fact, this merciless pirate wants the whole pie, and he’ll stop at nothing to taste the drink of everlasting life.
The plot really kicks in when Angelica and Jack Sparrow comes on board his ship and they set sail in search for this fountain. I liked that the main plot is relatively straightforward, and with most Disney films, you don’t really have to listen to the dialogue to understand what is going on. In fact, I didn’t bother to understand all the plot complications anyway. Thankfully, this film has many expensive set pieces that gives you more to look at.
The score of On Stranger Tides is by Hans Zimmer, who also scored The Dark Knight and Inception. The music of Pirates of the Caribbean is probably one of the most recognisable movie tunes among movie-going youngsters nowadays, and I do like it. It gives Pirates of the Caribbean a very adventurous spirit and also provides something to listen to if you ever get bored during the action scenes.
Which I did, particularly at one point early in the film when Jack Sparrow is swinging from ropes. You can’t see Jack’s face, so it’s obviously a stuntman and not the real Johnny Depp. Nevertheless, all the action sequences are fun to watch. My favourite action scene, and perhaps the best scene of the film, is when the crew gets attacked by mermaids. These fish-women are more vicious than the Raptors in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
This is a Disney film, so of course it’s family friendly. Nothing violent or gory ever happens, except for a few cuts here and there. I can only remember one “damn” in the entire film, and it was used in a humorous situation. In the end, if you are one of those people who are dying for Part IV, you will be satisfied. Johnny Depp does his quirky weirdo thing, people with swords and guns fight one another, Disney gets piles of money, another sequel is greenlit, and everyone goes home happy.