Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides|
POSTED BY MICHAEL A. SMITH, May 19, 2011 Share
Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hours 21 mins
Walt Disney Pictures
You have to wonder if, when Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, that when he was overseeing the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction he thought to himself “one day, this ride will inspire my biggest film series ever!” Even if it slipped his mind, I’m sure he’d be pleased to know his animatronic scallywags have earned over $2.5 BILLION worldwide. And when you have a good thing going….
Spain. An old man is caught up in a fishing net and brought ashore. Before he dies he states that he was once a sailor on the ship of Captain Ponce Deleon. “That’s impossible,” he’s told. “Ponce Deleon died 200 years ago!” Meanwhile, in England, a mysterious seafarer calling himself Captain Jack Sparrow has announced that he is looking for a crew to embark on a new adventure….something about a fountain of youth.
Filmed in epic style by new director Rob Marshall (taking over from the very capable Gore Verbinski), “POTC: On Stranger Tides” is a return to the adventure of the first film. In my opinion the second and third film in the series got bogged down by too many stories. But with Will and Elizabeth presumably happy somewhere on dry land, the film is Captain Jack’s (Depp) to dominate and he does so charmingly. Hoping to spoil Captain Jack’s plans is old nemesis Barbossa (Rush), who has managed to convince the King of England that Spain must not get to the fabled fountain first. The film also introduces some new characters, including Cruz as Angelica, a woman from Captain Jack’s past, and a very bad man by the name of Edward Teach, who you may know as the infamous Blackbeard the Pirate. Played with the same menace he showed in HBO’s “Deadwood” by the great Ian McShane, Blackbeard is to Jack Sparrow what Robert Shaw’s Red Grant was to James Bond in “From Russia With Love:” the baddest mother in the movie. Throw in some great battles and a couple of mermaids and you’ve got the recipe for what is sure to be the biggest adventure of the summer.
Rather than just continue their original story screenwriters Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot have wisely adapted Tim Powers’ novel “On Stranger Tides” to encompass their characters. This makes Jack Sparrow, still very familiar, seem new as we learn more and
more about him. The supporting cast is strong, with Kevin McNally returning as Gibbs and another quick appearance by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, whose stone hewed face
is perfect fodder for Fountain of Youth jokes. The visual effects are outstanding though, with the exception of the occasional sword thrust toward the audience, the 3-D is nothing to write home about. And, as in the previous films, Hans Zimmer’s score punctuates the action.
This Week's Movie Review of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is ©2011 by Mike Smith. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.
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