Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Reviews
I don't necessarily think it was the best idea to make Sparrow the only character with significant depth, but I also don't think having the story involve mermaids and an overly powerful supernatural villain either. The Pirates films at their best when the stakes are high but are also grounded with some realism. One of the reasons At World's End is a much better film is because there are stakes in that film. William's sacrifice feels earned because we've been with these characters for a few films. I never connected to anyone in On Stranger Tides because the writing never makes a considerable effort to flesh out the characters. The efforts that are made aren't very committed.
As a standalone sequel, which is essentially what this film is, On Stranger Tides is far from awful. It has plenty of fun swashbuckling action scenes that the franchise has always presented. Ian McShane is pretty good as Blackbeard, though he doesn't really compare to anything Bill Nighy or Geoffrey Rush did in the original trilogy. But the film itself presents a far goofier tone than any of those films. Sparrow is even more over the top (believe it or not) and thus removing any human connection to the characters.
I think it's best to treat this entry as a distant cousin people choose not to acknowledge at a party, because it has next to nothing to do with any of the other films (even the most recent film, Dead Men Tell No Tales). There are flashes of the Pirates we know and love but it's nowhere near as grandiose or as magical as its predecessors.
+Flashes of greatness
-Characters are getting a little too over the top
The action almost feels worse in this movie and that is a bit of a set back, since the action has always been so nice to watch. It felt quite bland. I also don't like one of the way the movie uses two characters just to make the plot move forward and that's the only reason they exist. The reason I don't like it is because they put to much time on them even if they don't need it.
Right off the bat, this film feels very distant from the rest of the franchise. Sure, it picks up the premise left at the end of its predecessor, having Jack Sparrow on the search for the fountain of youth, but as always, others are as well. Instead of an ensemble film, this feels very much like the Jack Sparrow one man show. This definitely grows tiring and the premise itself begins to feel fairly sluggish, even being the shortest film up until this point. Everything about this instalment felt like a slapstick fest, meshed with a very hardcore action flick, including mystical elements and mermaids. Yes, its as jarring as that statement suggests.
It became clear that Johnny Depp needed another character to become infatuated with, since the absence of Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swan was very present. There are far too many new characters here and the fact that they all share a past with Jack, even though that element isn't explored nearly enough, became quite annoying. In a franchise that has become loveable for its characters throughout the first three films, it felt like a betrayal to the franchise to throw half of them under the bus here. Sure, it's not like those characters particularly needed to be on this adventure, but then why make the film in the first place? That being said, there are a few redeeming qualities to be had, like all of the sequels.
Composing every score since the second instalment, Hanz Zimmer's musical touch to these films has been nothing short of wonderful. The music throughout these films is so distinct and this film is no exception to that statement. The music throughout this film was enough to keep a smile on my face. On top of that, the post-production and cinematography have always been the biggest accomplishment throughout this franchise, creating a beautiful and vibrant world. If nothing else, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is wonderful to listen to and incredible to look at, but the film buried inside these elements is not all that impressive.
In the end, this film does hold up as a decent adventure flick when you're not thinking about the rest of the franchise. As a Pirates of the Caribbean film however, it's a pretty large flop. The action, sense of adventure, and emotional core to the characters all seems absent here and not enough effort was put into it, which is a lot to say for these films, given they have always been about the characters. Overall, I don't throughly like this film enough to recommend watching it, especially if you aren't too keen on the previous three films. This film has worn down on me quite a bit, because I once thought this was an improvement on its predecessor, but even at almost three hours, the third instalment has a much more interesting premise. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides may not be the worst "film" in the franchise, but it's definitely the worst of its kind, if that makes any sense.
I do miss Keira though...
It has some good swashbuckling scenes, and a few fun jokes, but most of the film feels tired and flat. Hopefully the sequel (out this Friday) can pick up the series again.
Watched on Netflix at Sam's parents place (she is recovering from surgery) with Sam, May 22, 2017.
I picked up a few inconsistencies with the script and about half of the jokes fall flat. There were even some action moments that were too silly and unintentionally comical.
The movie also tries to put in a "off to the side" love story that doesn't work at all due to the fast pace of the film and the minor characters not really being that good in selling their roles to the audience. A big lack of emotion here leaves this subplot boring and drags the movie experience a little.
The saving grace this movie provides though is the funny humor and action. Sure we may have seen alot of this type of action before, however Jack keeps introducing new things to it to keep it somewhat fresh even though there is a familiarity to it all. That's just a testament to how good of an actor Johnny Depp is to prevent this film from being too boring and mediocre.
So yes, overall I found this film entertaining and actually better then what I thought it was going to be. However it's not really a must see experience. This is the worst out of the 4 movies.
It must be said though that there is a scene or two in this film that might bother some people, but when it comes to scenes like this, I personally thought the 3rd film had more disturbing moments then this one and that this film is on par with the Indiana Jones movies that have those familiar scenes. Just my two cents on this area.
Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's movie for me to endure while thinking "ugh, this doesn't need to be there," or "get to the bleedin' fountain of youth!" We open with the Spanish discovering a way to the fountain of youth when a fisherman fishes out some rambling guy who knows the way. We then see Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally) be put on trial as Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) who poses as the judge who commutes the sentence to life in prison. Long story short, they seemingly escape, get captured, then Jack escapes on his own in a fun chase scene, ending with him in some tavern where he meets the woman posing as him to assemble a crew to get to the fountain of youth: Angelica (Penelope Cruz), a former lover of his who gets him captured by Blackbeard (Ian McShane) aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge. What follows is Gibbs getting the pro-crown Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to take him on the search for the fountain of youth. What follows is a bloated parody of Tim Powers' novel "On Stranger Tides" using Pirates of the Caribbean. (Fun fact: Disney bought the rights of the novel so they could make this) I call it bloated because it wastes our time with man-on-mermaid romance between missionary Philip Swift (Sam Claflin) and Serena the mermaid (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey) that really didn't need to be there, as well as maybe a few crazy chase scenes too many, but mostly the most boring romance since Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, without the necessity of being the parents of two children who will save the galaxy. There are also a few shots that were definitely pushing the 3D this film was released in, but just feels painfully obvious in 2D. The semi-awkward humor actually feels in perfect place for this movie when you look at the series as a whole, so I'll only penalize the bad romance for slowing down the plot and wasting our time when the only romance of any interest is between Jack and Angelica. Otherwise, the visual effects are top notch, and Hans Zimmer's soundtrack captures the thrill of the chase scenes, the intensity of the villain, and appropriately includes some more Spanish instruments with the inclusion of Angelica and the Spaniards. Johnny Depp's fourth outing as Captain Jack Sparrow is bogged down with a whole romance subplot between two characters who didn't really need to be featured like that. Either take it away completely, or put the screen time towards Jack and Angelica's relationship, that one would have been more interesting. Aside from pacing issues and excessive big action with maybe a few too many moments of dumb luck, it's not a bad voyage to take.
In May 2007, I thought it was all over. I thought At World's End was the end of Pirates of the Caribbean. But it looks like we got more than expected after that. Jerry Bruckheimer is very persistant, making a fourth Pirates movie after we all thought it was over, and then basing its plot on a novel, and using the title as the subtitle. On Strangers Tides actually does feel like we're on stranger tides, due to a lack of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan, Jack's two best friends. What it doesn't lack is the wit of Jack Sparrow, as well as an exciting adventure to the fountain of youth. And BlackBeard "The pirate all pirates fear," according to Jack Sparrow, becoming a main character. We also get a twist of romance in the form of BlackBeard's daughter Angelica, who had a relationship with Jack, returning from his past to haunt him. Let's not forget the thrilling Hans Zimmer score, as well as the glorious CGI effects, and the wit and humor that made Pirates of the Caribbean what it is today. Ultimatly, this movie proves favorable. In conclusion, I can't wait to see what's lined up for Pirates 5!
The film follows Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he, Angelica (Penelope Cruz), Captain Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and the crew of the Queen Anne's Revenge go on a journey to find the Fountain of Youth. In a subplot, Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who is now working for the British Navy, and Jack's shipmate, Gibbs (Kevin McNally) journey to the Fountain, too, with Barbossa wanting revenge on Blackbeard.
To those who complained that At World's End was too long (running at 2 hours and 49 minutes) will be happy to know that On Stranger Tides is only 2 hours and 16 minutes as the plot moves at a fast pace.
One of the highlights of the first three Pirates films was the relationship between Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Here, they are replaced by Philip (Sam Claflin), a member of the crew of the Queen Anne's Revenge, and Syrena (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), who is a mermaid. Unfortunately, their relationship isn't as interesting as Will and Elizabeth's and the film spends too much time focusing on them.
As the main villain, Blackbeard isn't as fearsome as Bill Nighy's Davy Jones, however, McShane stills gives off an intimidating performance.
While I don't think it's as good as the earlier films in the Pirates franchise, it's not as bad as critics have made it out to be and it's worth a watch.