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Posted on 5/28/11 04:08 AM
Pirates of the Caribbean: The curse of the Black Pearl was one of my all time favourite movies, so I never thought On Stranger Tides would stand a chance at topping it. I was somewhat disappointed with Dead Man's Chest, and appalled with At Worlds End, so I was a little sceptical at first about seeing this movie. But I decided that seeing as I had seen all the previous films in the cinema I should give it a shot. I'm glad I did.
Captain Jack Sparrow is on a mission to find the fountain of youth. Sorry, let me rephrase that. Captain Jack Sparrow was on a mission to find the fountain of youth. But then he just gave up because he decided it was too hard. But after given another opportunity to discover the fountain he is ready as he ever will be to discover it...because Blackbeard imprisoned him and forced Jack to retry his quest to find the fountain. While at the same time the English navy (led by Captain Barbossa) and the Spanish navy are also hell bent on finding the fountain of youth first. There is plenty of swashbuckling action to keep any Pirates fan happy, and I'm convinced there is more in this instalment than any of the others. And despite the fact critiques are saying that there is 'too much action' and not enough of a plot, there is just the right amount of both. There are some excellent set pieces, and terrains ranging from the cities of England, to the high seas and tropical islands. But there was one thing missing from all of this, and it was fairly disappointing to exclude it as well. The ship battles. The first three movies had plenty of ship vs. ship, cannon blazing action, but there isn't any in this movie. There are battles ON ships, but just not between them, and that was a bit upsetting, and there isn't the Black Pearl! Despite that, all the action sequences are shot brilliantly, and there has been a great job done of all the CGI. The 3D wasn't too shabby either, but it could have been better. Don't worry though, just because the 3D wasn't up to par with the likes of AVATAR, I'm not going to mark the movie down. Especially considering I see 3D as more of a gimmick than anything else.
As many of you already know, On Stranger Tides is more of a standalone Pirates film, and not really a sequel to the third movie at all, and it works. I'm glad to report that On Stranger Tides departed from the third movie and its very dark atmosphere, and back to the more joyful, fun routes of the first film. While there are very dark and 'scary' moments, if you will, there is enough balance between glee and despair in the film to keep things fresh. Unfortunately there is no Orlando Bloom, and no Keira Knightly, but Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and a few 'smaller' roles are returned. With the absence of Orlando and Keira the movie sometimes just didn't feel right, so to speak. While Johnny is back, Orlando and Keira are also an essential part of the series, and as I said, it didn't feel right with them not being there. Now don't get me wrong, all the new actors do a superb job, and despite what some other critiques are claiming, they are very likable. Because Johnny signed up for a total of six Pirates films, there will no doubt be a Pirates 5 and 6, so the characters in this instalment will no doubtedly grow on us like the characters of the first trilogy did. With that in mind, critiques giving the movie lower marks for not having all the original actors are pretty ignorant - because this new cast will very likely carry on to Pirates 5 and 6, and it will be 'their' trilogy of Pirates films.
The music score was excellent. Period. Remember the catchy Pirates theme song from the first movie? Well it makes a triumphant return, and so do numerous other scores from the first film. Most of the well known Pirates music was absent or disgustingly modified in the third film, but luckily it hasn't been tampered with at all in On Stranger Tides, I guess Hollywood learnt a lesson - that's a first. Alongside the music, there are unbelievable amount of homage's to the first film, and I wasn't surprised, especially considering Johnny Depp said he wanted this film to return to its roots. A lot of the battles, for example, are choreographed and located in similar environments to the first film, and while it may seem lazy and unoriginal at first, it ends up blending in perfectly with the film and makes you respect and like it that much more. Also as a side note to critiques - *Stop saying this movie is bad because it's too short! It is only 15 minutes shorter than the first film - and it still clocks up well over two hours - so stop complaining over nothing!
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is no Curse of the Black Pearl, nor is it a Dead Man's Chest or a Worlds End, it is On Stranger tides. This movie doesn't reach the heights of the first film (but it makes a valiant effort), it's not as mediocre as the second film, and it is definitely not dreadful like the third film, it instead is a very, very good movie. It is the first very, very good Pirates movie. The first was excellent, the second ok, and the third well below average. Hopefully the new trilogy of Pirates films won't follow the same trend as the first trilogy. On Stranger Tides is not without its flaws, but it is a great movie and is definitely recommended to any fans of the first. Enjoy!