First off, what kind of a name is this for the 4th installment of the highly lucrative “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise? I saw nothing in this film that indicated a strange tide. Getting right down to it, let me say that I like Jack Sparrow quite a bit. It’s a memorable character for Johnny Depp. Unfortunately, there is nothing particular “wow” to this film.
Ian McShane makes a nice addition to the cast as Blackbeard, but they do so little with him. You would think that the most infamous pirate of the Caribbean (though he met his end off the coast of the Carolinas) would have had a juicer part to play. Unfortunately, this was not the case. He made a great pirate, but the film just didn’t have enough room in it for him to shine truly.
As for the addition of Penelope Cruz as Angelika, a one-time love interest of Jack Sparrow, she doesn’t do anything for me. I mean that! She doesn’t strike me as THE girl that melts Jack’s heart. That’s the real problem with her in this film. I just didn’t buy what they were trying to sell for Angelika. She dresses too much as a man, and doesn’t have any particular quality that screams “WOOO HOOO!”. So, I guess what I am trying to say here is that the idea for the character failed utterly.
As for Geoffery Rush returning as Captain Barbosa, he was a real treat once again! I think he really stole the show. I especially liked how he compensates for an injury with a hobby. His line about collecting the frogs is classic! It’s sort of sad how they leave things with his character at the end of the film.
Alas, I must talk of the mermaids. There are some mythologies that depict mermaids as benevolent beings. There are some that say they viciously drown sailors under water. There are others that say that mermaids simply forget that humans cannot breathe underwater. Many people confuse “mermaid” with “siren” – quite a deviation. However, I don’t recall anyone ever describing mermaids as fishy models that are capable of using kelp whips with tremendous strength and accuracy and EAT people! Yeah…if you can’t tell, I don’t much care for this interpretation. Oh, I know this may be the purview of the adventure movie that it is and all, but come on! Mermaids that are flesh-eaters???
Anyway, I don’t really recommend “On Stranger Tides” to anyone. It wasn’t truly awful, but it also wasn’t even remotely brilliant. I don’t like using a “rating system”, but if I were to rank it among the rest of this franchise, it would come in dead last. We miss Will Turner and his wife Elizabeth! I’ll pass on the whole Fountain of Youth storyline too – what does that have to do with being a pirate?
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (en.wikipedia.org)
- ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’ Movie News Update: New Film To Shoot In New Orleans (latinospost.com)