Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Stephen Graham, Keith Richards, and more… Directed by: Rob Marshall Screenplay by: Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio Based on the novel: Stranger Tides by Tim Powers.

Premise: Jack Sparrow returns to London to help a friend and finds out someone is impersonating him and gathering a crew. He finds the culprit, but instead of fixing things, he finds himself shanghaied and in a whole heap of trouble.

Review: On Strager Tides is the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. And it gives us all we’ve come to expect from the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. He even meet several old friends again as three groups race off to find the elusive Fountain of Youth.

The supernatural plays a hand again in this installment as Black Beard has some unexpected talents, including voodoo and zombie making. And what he can do with the rigging is pretty spiffy too! we also meet mermaids and they rule!  The whole sequence at White Cape was awesome. Add in the IMAX 3D for the underwater bits and it looked pretty darn cool! (Wait till you see their whip seaweed. Nasty!)

Loads of fun fight scenes – the one in the bar was the best as basically no surface was left untouched,  or got fought on or was used in the fight.  Good chase and escape scenes in London as well.  (The actual Hampton Court Palace for a couple of scenes!)

Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp have a great love/hate relationship thing going.  Ian McShane does his bad guy best as always. Geoffrey Rush was also a lot of fun. Sam Caflin’s character Philip was an obvious replacement for Orlando Bloom’s, but wasn’t given enough screen time to develop his character to any great depth, which was a pity.

There were a couple of nice surprises, which I won’t spoil.

The only weak areas were in the lore used to make the quest more complicated. Since a lot more people than you’d suspect seemed to know the basic location of the Fountain, they added in the need of a ritual. Yet part of the ritual itself didn’t make sense. It’s possible the bowls of the cups were made from stones that had been used in long ago times at the fountain, but if so, the information was not given and set the whole thing as suspect. The other bit that seemed to come from nowhere and was never touched on again was about Jack’s Father, Captain Teague. He pops in, gives info, pops out and is never seen or heard from again.

Make sure to stay through the credits. There’s just a bit more at the end and it is totally worth it!

So for fun, excitement, and daring do, this film is all that and more. Just don’t look at things too closely – just ride along.  🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth full price of admission IMAX 3D)