It’s been some time since the last “Pirates” movie. During that period, aficionados of this film series have been hoping and craving for Captain Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) return. And he did return, albeit, he’s alone with Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). No more Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightly) from the last three films.
Back then, I thought, “Can ‘Pirates’ 4 stand with Jack Sparrow alone?” It did. Somehow, there was something different, something missing.
On Stranger Tides puts our witty protagonist on a personal mission to get to the whereabouts of The Fountain of Youth from which, its water would render its drinker immortal. In the midst of his search for a crew and a ship to get there, Capt. Jack Sparrow is captured and enlisted by Blackbeard (Ian McShane) as one of his crew. Helping Blackbeard is his recently found daughter, Angelica (Penélope Cruz), who uses her charm to trap Jack. Blackbeard wants The Fountain’s grant of immortality to escape his prophecy of death at the hands of a one-legged pirate, i.e., Barbossa.
You lied to me by telling the truth?
—Captain Jack Sparrow
Yup! You read that right! Captain Barbossa now has a wooden leg!
What follows is the trademark swashbuckling action-adventure intermixed with comedy that every “Pirates” movie is known for.
Personally, it’s a good blockbuster. That’s just it—good enough, not very convoluted and complicated as in past installments, but the fun and thrill has decreased. It may be due to the different story arc, which makes it more comparable to the first “Pirates,” instead of to the last one. The first movie clearly revolved around the Black Pearl and Jack’s involvement in a deal with Davy Jones. This current movie, on the other hand, revolves around Angelica and the search to release the Black Pearl, which is now contained within a bottle.
Another angle that can be considered is the new director, which is reason enough for the lack of slapstick comedy in On Stranger Tides. Gore Verbinski of the last three movies was also the director of the hilarious slapstick film, MouseHunt. On the other hand, new “Pirates” director Rob Marshall isn’t so much of a “comedy film director” as reflected on his past projects like Annie, Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Nine.
Finally, there is the absence of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. Accordingly, they didn’t reprise their roles for this film because they felt that their story arcs have already ended in At World’s End. It definitely felt different not seeing them on-screen with Jack. To me, they will always be the film enterprise’s main trio.
Looking Forward to the Next
Although not as spectacular as the past films, this sequel does a better job at story-telling and portrayal. As mentioned earlier, it’s not convoluted thus, becoming a fast-paced and easily digestible story. I’m guessing there will be two more movies based on the hanging events of On Stranger Tides. Besides, this film enterprise is still profitable to the producers and distributors. Since it has a different story arc, we will just have to wait for the current’s sequel to see how the director would mold this new film set of Pirates of the Caribbean.
If you had a sister and a dog, I would choose the dog!
—Captain Jack Sparrow