Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Reviews

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½ November 19, 2017
POTC-OST is not the best of the series, but it is a step in the right direction. If you, like me, were very disappointed with the third Pirates movie then I do not blame you for wanting to skip out on this one. In fact I was considering not seeing this one myself, especially when the critics reviews came out. I decided to give it a chance, primarily because I had seen the other ones. I was pleasantly surprised and ending up liking the movie. One of the major differences between this and the other Pirates movies (and it is one everyone is going to notice right off the bat) is that Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightely are not in this movie. I am not too disappointed, there story overtook the third Pirates movie, which is part of the reason I did not like it. I was also sick of Knightely terrible speech scenes (if you saw the third you know exactly what I mean). Furthermore a few other pirates who were franchise regulars were missing in this one. What is left from the original three is Jack, Barbosa, Gibbs and the monkey makes two brief cameo appearances.

There was a number of things wrong with the third Pirates movie, among them was the fact that it was long, or it felt long at least. This movie is the shortest of the Pirates films and it moves at a brisk pace. The third Pirates slowed down considerably in the middle, to the point it was almost unbearable to watch. This movie does not make that mistake. This movie is almost all action and because of this it did not feel long, at least in my opinion.

As usual the effects were great. The action is almost nonstop and when there is no action there is enough going on to keep the audience interested. There is also plenty of signature Jack Sparrow humor. Since the previous two (especially the third) were focused almost entirely on the story of Will and Elizabeth Jack was almost forgotten. Another reason the third suffered. It was great to have that story out of the way, because this movie is focused on Jack and that is a strength.

Despite the fact that it improved on a number of the things that made the third bad, this one still is not up to par with the original. It is a good movie all around. It is refreshing and reminds us why we liked these movies in the first place. I recommend giving it a shot, don't expect anything great, just know that this movie is superior in every way to the third.Carribbean films. The plot was flaky and apart from Jack, the characters weren't that great.

After seeing Ian McShane in Deadwood I was convinced he'd make a fantastic Blackbeard, but I think his Lovejoy character was more evil than he was in On Stranger Tides. At the height of his devilishness (is that even a word?) he triggered his ship's flamethrower to kill a mutineer and gave us doubts over his true feelings to a daughter he'd only just found out about. He wasn't a patch on the Barbosa/Davey Jones/Lord Beckett trifecta of evil from the first three films. As someone once said, Luke Skywalker was only as good as Darth Vader was evil.

Speaking of the daughter, Penelope Cruz as Angelica was a character I felt very apathetic towards. The whole raison d'etre of her quest to find the Fountain of Youth was because it had been foretold that a one legged man would kill her father and she wanted to save him so she could have that father she never heard. I'm sorry but pass me the bucket - that sentimental dross deserves to be on Jeremy Kyle (Oprah Winfrey for anyone reading from the US) not as the main plot for the latest of one of the biggest film franchises of all time.

The dilemma at the end of the film sees both Blackbeard and Angelica about to die and only one can be saved by the Fountain of Youth. At that point I didn't care if either died and why should I? Blackbeard is an evil man, or so they tell us, and Angelica has used Jack to get to the Fountain of Youth. If I were Jack I'd have left them both to die and the film would have been better off if he had. At least then we'd have some of the darker side of Jack which never showed appeared in this film. Instead our scoundrel played a goody two shoes who seemed to be motivated by his concern for Angelica's safety. Please, this is Jack Sparrow we are talking about, like he really gives a damn about anyone apart from himself, a characteristic which made him so appealing in the previous films. Yes, he does have a softer side that we've seen before, but to not this whipped extent.

Don't even get me started on the Mermaids. They were great to start with, but as soon as it was just Syrena and her boring relationship with Philip the clergyman, all was lost as they gave us the dullest moments in Pirates of the Caribbean history, to date.

My last major moan is about the part where Jack left Angelica on the island. Remember, Angelica's whole motivation was to save her father, and Jack had just condemned him to death. So why in God's name, when his back was turned, did she try to attack him with a piece of wood and not shoot him in the back with the pistol he had just given her? Yes she had some feelings for Jack, but surely not enough for her to get over the fact that Jack had basically just killed her father and destroyed what she had spent the whole film trying to achieve? Don't give me the old 'he saved her life' spiel - Jack let Blackbeard , her father, die - end of story.

The Good

Whilst nowhere near as funny as in the previous films Jack was still a great character, in spite of his wimpy attitude change. The scenes where he escaped from the King and the clutches of the Spanish were a reminder of how great Pirates of the Caribbean can be at its best. It was great to see Gibbs back alongside Jack as their chemistry is great and a nice link back my beloved first three films.

As always, the film looked and sounded great, though the 3D wasn't essential and I found myself taking the glasses off from time to time and it made little difference. In fact I'd go as far as to say that while you lose depth in 2D, you gain richness in colour.

I'm struggling to think of much else to compliment the film for and at the moment I'm stuck in my post viewing disappointment funk. I really need to watch it again but after my horrific cinema experience I'll wait until it comes out on Blu-ray.
½ November 12, 2017
Suffering from the exact opposite problems as At World's End, On Stranger Tides tries to cram too much action into a much shorter runtime. Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush once again give strong performances, and Ian McShane is surprisingly menacing as Blackbeard, but the script is uninspired and the film fails to live up to any of the previous films.
November 11, 2017
Even though it?s a step down from the original trilogy, I still enjoyed it with the addition of Ian McShane as Blackbeard
October 20, 2017
On Stranger Tides is such a disappointing entry in the series and so much weaker than the original trilogy. I loved its locations, score and some scenes were quite fun. Jack is also reliably good and memorable. But unfortunately the other characters are boring and the addition of Penelope Cruz hurt the film tremendously. She was never a great actress and here she gave a mediocre performance in a very annoying role. It is a shorter film, but owing to its odd lack of fantasy elements, it is mostly not as exciting as the previous entries.
October 7, 2017
It has some good scenes, and jack is always entertaining. But in the end it's not worth your time. It is mercifully short though.
½ September 24, 2017
Just watched this one recently before watching the dead man tells no tales. New characters weren't too bad though not too interesting. Story wasn't bad and didn't have too many plotholes (compared to other films).
Super Reviewer
½ September 13, 2017
We all thought it had ended with the trilogy but no! As in this modern age there had to be a continuation, it had to be milked and a milked it shall be. New director, change of cast line up and a new myth to explore, this franchise has become the Indiana Jones of the era.

This film takes elements from actual real history this time and blends them with classic fantasy. The real bits involve the legendary English pirate Edward Teach and his flagship Queen Anne's Revenge and the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. Now this plot has relaxed a bit, its not a complicated mess of sub plots and tonnes of characters. Sparrow is off to sea once again to find the fountain of youth, alongside him is Barbossa who is now a privateer for the British Navy. At the same time Blackbeard is also after the fountain along with the dastardly Spanish and their religious thoughts. Each party has their own reasons naturally which does as usual involve some double crossing and twists.

I must admit to liking the intergration of actual history into the plot this time. The franchise has slowly used various common old fables and sea myths to its advantage which has worked well, this time the inclusion of some real historic figures gives the whole thing a bit more class, credibility and a small sense of realism. Of course old Blackbeard has been given a slightly spruced up look with black leather top to bottom by the looks of it, aiming for the cool factor a bit too much methinks.

Gotta say I didn't really like the whole supernatural power thing Blackbeard had over his ship with the magic cutlass. That seemed pointless if you ask me, if he can control the ship like that then why use a crew? His galleon has also been given a very fantasised appearance which makes it look like a unique ghost ride attraction in a fairground. Oh and his ship breaths fire out the front? really? Did we need that silliness? They'd probably burn down their own ship with it.

Next to that we see mermaids which is about time really if you think about it. The fact they are actually fearsome creatures that kill innocent sailors was a nice touch if rather obvious. But that plot detail causes confusion with the main mermaid character who we are meant to feel for, but that's hard knowing her kind are merciless killers of the deep, plus the 'Splash' finale for her was too much cinematic deja vu.

I think the film in general is let down by totally unrealistic action sequences that just feel implausible when they are suppose to be reasonably plausible. The escape set piece at the start is a good example, its overly long and over the top in every sense. Sparrow is leaping around like an acrobat (clearly a stunt double) and doing things that just wouldn't work, the worst bit is seeing all the English soldiers prat falling about everywhere trying to catch him, its cringing. We all know the franchise is suppose to be fun fantasy but apart from the actual supernatural stuff you do expect a degree of slight realism with some stunts. If it becomes too outrageous then it ceases to be fun and simply becomes a joke, what's worse is the fact its not meant to be that kind of joke.

The film is full of these daft action sequences really, it looks bad because we all know Sparrow isn't that kind of character, we had Turner in the trilogy for that. So now seeing the campy Sparrow mincing about doing these big hero stunts looks stupid as its actually taken semi seriously. As I said earlier the plot does also go down the route of old Indy with the chalices thing and especially the finale for Blackbeard which is pretty much a rip off from 'Raiders' and 'The Last Crusade'.

Altogether the adventure feels a bit flat to me, nothing much happens that we haven't seen before or made me go wow! Most of the characters are running low on juice now accept for Barbossa who is always brilliantly played by Rush. Cruz was a bad casting choice and did nothing whilst McShane wasn't all that intimidating as Blackbeard if you ask me. Kudos to Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey for being gorgeously cute as the mermaid and Richard Griffiths in a small role as King George II at the start.

On the whole very very average in my opinion, hyper stunt laden action sequences can't divert from the fact the film is actually kinda dull. It all looks terrific and very atmospheric in that Monkey Island kinda way but you can tell the difference in direction with the film, it does stand out. I just feel they have now used up most avenues of pirate legend both real and fantasy, I can't see what they can do in the fifth film without it being a complete rehash, especially with this struggling for a fresh look. Who's left to utilize? Long John Silver? Sinbad? YellowBeard? What other old creatures and myths can they possibly crowbar in?? Atlantis?

The fact they even squeezed in the minute unrelated hobby of ships in a bottle shows how far they were stretched to incorporate anything remotely olde worlde and piratey into the film. I think this film just about manages to be semi acceptable but that's now it, no more can or should be done. I think Sparrow has had his moment in the spotlight, time to retire in the sun matey.
September 10, 2017
So what next? This film definitely feels like a cash in on the popularity of Depp's character in previous films. I also feel that with Depp as the only lead it just doesn't work. In previous outings the audience are always left feeling that Depp is a force in this world just out of reach and his motives are not always clear. As the main character these feelings are gone as the audience view it alongside him. My other biggest criticism is that this film really suffers from barely any time at sea. It was obviously a budgetary reason but to me don't make a film in the franchise unless you are going to go full out. The scenes in London were fun and the film starts with promise but from then on out it starts to struggle with no real villain and Blackbeard being firmly second place to Davy Jones!
½ September 8, 2017
For me it is fun and entertaining, the character are fun, the music was fantastic and the comedy is good. But the problem was that it had a lot of misleading concept of the story, the villain wasn't that great like the others, and we dint have some characters back. But it was a movie that has the same fun and likeable feeling like the others but it wants that serious and dark. I watch it like four time.
September 3, 2017
I thought Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was a good one. The action and adventure is good. It is a good one in the Pirates Franchise.
½ August 25, 2017
Utterly boring sequel with no memorable moments at all . Sad to see in a franchise which started so well.
½ August 15, 2017
POTC 4 Has Blackbeard in it and Jack Sparrow's love interest, Mermaids, but no Will, Elizabeth, Black Pearl crew (except for Gibbs).

This movie takes place in the 1700s and there were zombies in this film (I liked the idea). Did Zombies even existed back then?

I think this is a start to a new POTC trilogy... or are there supposed to be 7 made? Who knows who else will return in POTC 5? Maybe Angelica. This next movie could be like the Fast & Furious movies and focus on Will Turner's adventures,
½ August 11, 2017
Its not the best of the franchise...it could also be considered the worst....HOWEVER ive been able to find alot to enjoy in the installment.
August 6, 2017
Rather average movie
½ July 30, 2017
Bottom half fish, top half human. Oh, you're talking about the movie?
½ July 29, 2017
This is a very boring film. The comedy in this one did not work as well and would have been better if Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly where in it.

July 17, 2017
I'm going to need to rewatch this movie.

Well, I rewatched this movie. And I thought it was just ok. It had fun action scenes and the 3D was really cool but the plot is kinda faded and thin but it's not too bad. The new characters were pretty cool to me. Of course Johnny Depp gives a pretty good performance as Jack Sparrow yet again. But really overall, this is just another pirates movie. This plot is kind of thin but being a pirates movie fan, I'm just going to give this a C+. It's really mostly the action sequences that hold it up though. This movie is just ok. I think it has replay value though so that's good. But the 5th movie is much better.
July 14, 2017
Depp still charms and the visual spectrum is still dazzling, but unfortunately, it does not quite redeem the franchise.
June 30, 2017
Johnny Depp is still welcome to keep reprising Jack Sparrow. Its just not quite a necessary film. It's fun enough, but not as grand or spectacular as the first three. However, at least it doesn't meander on in pointless extrapolation like the third movie did.
June 27, 2017
Honestly, this is my first Pirates movie I've seen. Visuals are good and the film is not too comedic, timing it in good places.
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