Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review

It’s not saying much for a film that only gets about 30% on RottenTomatoes.com. But after reading some of those reviews, I decided to check the film out for myself. I did make the mistake of seeing the film on Monday, rather than my usual Tuesday (due to other circumstances), so I ended up paying more for the film and the popcorn (Tuesdays are Stimulus Tuesdays at my local movie theater and everything is cheaper). Fortunately for me, it was a good film and I didn’t feel ripped off.

Okay, considering I paid more for the popcorn and soda than the movie, maybe I felt a little ripped off. But I have to have popcorn. It’s just one of those things!

The film itself is what you would expect from any Pirates of the Caribbean film. It’s a swashbuckling adventure with lots of sword-fighting, action sequences and Johnny Depp chewing scenery. That, in and of itself, makes for a good movie.

The story was also fairly entertaining. It’s about the quest for the infamous Fountain of Youth and obviously, several different groups are out to find it first. There are the Spaniards and the British and the most feared pirate of all, Blackbeard. It is with Blackbeard that Captain Jack Sparrow falls in with against his will. Interestingly enough, the British are led by a one Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush), who is now missing a leg.

Penelope Cruz plays Angelica, a woman (and pirate) from Captain Sparrow’s past. And unfortunately, she is one of the few problems I have with the film. I think her role was miscast as I saw it as supposedly being a female version of Jack. I don’t feel Cruz could keep up with Depp, but then again, that may have been an impossible task to ask of any actress. I also didn’t see a lot of chemistry between the two actors, at least not until the very end.

That’s a minor criticism, though, for a film that was just all out good fun. Yes, of course, it’s not a serious piece. It’s not meant to be. And anyone expecting something serious has obviously not seen any of the previous films.

I loved Ian McShane as Blackbeard, although I didn’t see the role as much of a stretch for the man who played Al Swearengen on Deadwood.

Please note that I did not see the film in 3D. I did see some scenes where the usual 3D effects would have been in full effect, though. Swords pointed at the screen, for example. I hate this sort of pandering for 3D, but then again, maybe I should have seen it in 3D. But I hate 3D. So I didn’t. I’ll be glad when this little fad is over.

For me, the first film will always be the best, mostly because it was our first introduction to Captain Jack. We know him well enough now that I did find much of his behavior in the newest film to be predictable. However, it was predictable in a way that a good friend is predictable. It’s all those little things that made you smile in the previous films.

And smiling I did. And at times, outright laughing.

And then I began to wonder how the critics could have been so wrong. No, it’s not the best movie ever made. But it’s also much better than they’re giving it credit for.

Also, how can you criticize a film that features a cameo by Dame Judi Dench herself? You can’t! Savvy?

In the end, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a highly entertaining summer romp.

4 thoughts on “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review

  • May 25, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Judi Dench was in it? When? Was I not paying attention to it?

    I saw it today, thought it was okay but not a patch on the first. Also, I hate 3D and think they should stop charging such OTT prices – I’m sure it doesn’t cost them much more to run a 3D movie.

    • May 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      She was at the very beginning when Jack was escaping the British. She was the woman in the carriage whose earring he stole.

  • October 1, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    there are a lot of people who didn’t like the latest Pirates movie, I would
    have to say that I still enjoyed it a lot. Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors,
    and I think that he makes the movies funny. Sure the other two characters were
    missing, but I think I can overlook that since there were some new characters
    to make up for it! I am planning on seeing this movie again very soon once it
    is available. I am really excited to use the Blockbuster Movie
    Pass to rent this. It
    came out today and I have been streaming a lot of other movies. The Blockbuster Movie Pass
    will give customers a huge selection of movies, TV shows and games by mail, and
    they can stream thousands to their TV or PC! Since DISH Network (my employer)
    is also offering the Blockbuster
    Movie Pass,
    there are 20 channels that you get in addition to all the movies! Blockbuster
    also has many stores that you can go to and exchange the DVD’s at. This is all
    for $10 a month, which is awesome! I can’t wait to use it on Pirates of the Caribbean!

    • October 2, 2011 at 7:48 am

      I’m not interested in DISH network. I cancelled my satellite a year ago and it was the best thing I ever did. It’s ridiculous to pay $100 per month for the 5 channels that I like to watch. I’m not about to sign back up just to stream stuff that I can already stream on Netflix and Hulu Plus for a lot less money.

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