Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
IMDB rating:
Rob Marshall
Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow
Sam Claflin as Philip
Greg Ellis as Groves
Óscar Jaenada as The Spaniard
Damian O'Hare as Gillette
Anton Lesser as Lord John Carteret
Keith Richards as Captain Teague
Penélope Cruz as Angelica Teach
Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs
Richard Griffiths as King George
Ian McShane as Blackbeard
Roger Allam as Prime Minister Henry Pelham
Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa
Storyline: Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past (Cruz), and he's not sure if it's love -- or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.
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Dwindling Returns
The "POTC" franchise is slowly sinking. Although Cap'n Jack Sparrow and Barbosa were great, they couldn't carry the movie by themselves. Too many of the dynamic characters were missing and the choice of Penelope Cruz as the femme fatale was a disastrous decision; she lacks in every way and comparing her to Keira Knightley is like comparing a kitten fart to a hurricane. I have hope that there will be, at least, one more episode in which Rob Marshall realizes his 'error', loses Cruz (hopefully by killing her at the beginning of the next movie) and reunites the original cast. Once in a great while, there is perfect chemistry between actors, a terrific plot and incredible effects that enters your living room and takes you to where they are." Pirates..." did that for us until now.
What happened to this movie?
Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and Penelope Cruz as actors, Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott as screenwriters, Hans Zimmer as a composer, a book that is said to be totally okay as a base - what can go wrong in a movie like this? Well... everything. There was not a single moment at which I really connected with either the story or any of the characters. While I went out of "At world's end" after three hours feeling like it had been at most one and a half, I started looking at my watch twenty minutes into this movie, thinking "When will this get really started?"

This film was clearly aimed at a younger audience than the previous ones, and so were most of the jokes. All in all there's a definite feeling of having seen it all before, with a predictable plot and soulless acting. What hurt only a little in comparison to everything else: the secret heroine of the previous movies, the Black Pearl, almost didn't appear at all.

I was also disappointed by the music. Well, Hans Zimmer is always above average, but there's nothing new at all to this score, unlike in parts 2 and 3 that got new themes each.

In my opinion, if you liked the previous films, stick to Gore Verbinski rather than the Pirates of the Caribbean. It seems to be only about the money now.
Jack Is Back.....
I can imagine that many has been sitting with a feeling if the Pirates concept is going too far(Specially after POC nr.3) but thanks to a tight script this fourths installment of POC is definitely worth a watch.

I personally didn't like the 3rd one cause of too much talk and confusion, but this one lives up to the first two.

Jack Sparow and captain Barbosa are the scene stealer s, their chemistry is Top-Notch. Cruz and rest of the crew did very well.

And thank god that Orlanda Bloom and that Skinny girl is not in the movie.

Go for this movie, it got everything from comedy, action, adventure and the most important: Captain Jack Sparow.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
The very definition of the word "pointless". I would like to start by saying that I admire Disney for scaling down the film. In my opinion, the last two films were too concentrated on creating an engaging mythology to be any fun. However, they have gone too far in the wrong direction. This is just dull. The film is so simple you'd be forgiven for thinking this is the first in the series. The film starts with a number of overlong, but all very similar action sequences. These involve swinging around a lot. So much so, I think Jack may be part monkey. Next we see Jack as a superhero now. Before he was a bumbling fool that got lucky, this was where the comedy came from. Now he seems to have complex plans mapped out.

The most annoying thing is the lazy writing. Twice in this film, characters are saved by other characters that appear out of nowhere. There is no way for the characters that do the saving to know where those in danger are. They just walk out of dark shadows and allow the story to plod along. Blackbeard the pirate all pirates fear, is a useless bully. He isn't scary or interesting. Whereas before we've had skeletal and fish pirates, now we have a guy that can control ropes. Scary stuff.

There's also some bizarre love story between two new characters, a religious nut and a mermaid. I don't know why they are in the film. Probably for some misunderstood teenage romance crap ala Twilight. We also get some boring prophecy stuff. Why ruin so many movies/stories with prophecies? Very rarely do they not come true.

At least Cruz adds a new kind of female character to the franchise. One that is threatening, confused, and also a lot of fun. I really found nothing to enjoy in this movie. The first one made pirates cool, this one made pirates very, very bland.
The Weak Link
Stranger Tides seemed tired. Johnny Depp seemed tired. The storyline seemed tired.

Okay, you get the point. The movie as a stand alone may have got a slightly higher score from me, but it must be compared to its brilliant predecessors. In the end, Stranger Tides failed to carry on the swashbuckling enjoyment of the previous episodes.

This movie seems to be made for profit only. Alright, all movies are made for profit, but I really got the feeling that they knew no matter what, this movie would make them money.

The cast was good, but not excellent. For the first time, I felt the story was forced.

A good movie, but not as good as what came before.
Welcome back Pirates of the Caribbean!
I thought the first Pirates film was excellent, the second one started to confuse me a little however I still very much enjoyed it while the third film was so confusing and I was beginning to fear the worst...

however the reason I say welcome back was that after the third film it had seemed there would be no return for the franchise, however now with a much simpler story than the third and still maintaining the action, humour and still an intense storyline this franchise has well and truly taken off once more.

The return of Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush with Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane added to the cast creates an experience not to be missed. With much more focus on Captain Jack Sparrow you know the film was heading in the right direction, the film grips the audience from start to finish (I was lucky enough to go see the first seeing in the cinema) and while it was first thing in the afternoon the turnout was still good.

I throughly enjoyed the film and I suggest everyone who thinks this will be the same as the third one IT IS NOT! It is much easier to understand and it is easier to follow for the younger generation also.

Well worth 9/10.
Cash Cow Cinema
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise takes the oddball, zany adventures of early Hollywood pirate movies ("The Black Pirate", "Captain Blood", "The Buccaneer", "The Sea Hawk", "The Black Swan", "Captain Kidd", "Hornblower", "Blackbeard", "The Crimson Pirate", "Fairwind to Java") and spins them off into even wackier territory. Indeed, much of the joys of the first three films were in watching the various tales and characters veer off into increasingly mad, busy and nonsensical avenues. Unfortunately this excess quickly got out of hand, "action sequences" prolonged to boredom inducing lengths, dull subplots piled upon dull subplots. Eventually the franchise struggled to modulate its madness and started to take itself too seriously.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", the fourth film in the franchise, has a shorter running time than its siblings. It's more light-footed, moves better and keeps the level of subplots and characters somewhat down, though its best madcap moments (mermaid attacks, Johnny Depp swinging from coconut trees, giant ships stuck in tiny bottles) never match the wacky highs, comedic power poses and ridiculous gags of the previous movies.

All actors love acting in pirate movies – it gives them a chance to chew scenery and munch on deliciously ridiculous dialogue – and so most of the cast is a delight to watch. The dull, straight faced Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are jettisoned for this instalment, leaving more room for tongue-in-cheek grandstanding and juicy dialogue chewing. The dialogue here is itself really good, witty and injected with a kind of deliberate theatricality ("Death is upon us as we sail for the Fountain of Youth!", "I support the missionary's position!").

The plot is hokum, but the actual construction of the script is somewhat interesting. It revolves around a series of romances, each epitomising a different type of romantic love (love for one's self, unconditional love, selfish love, love for a father, love for one one cannot love, a love-hate romance etc). Director Rob Marshall is too much of a hack to make anything of this. The production belongs to its actors, set-designers and writers. Marshall's too prim and proper to properly marshal their madness.

7.9/10 – This is apparently the eight most profitable film ever made. Worth one viewing.
A Nutshell Review: On Stranger Tides
I thought this film would never have happened, since the first three films wrapped themselves up pretty nicely as a trilogy, but I suppose studios never say no to profits there for the taking, especially if the point man in Johnny Depp is game to don his eyeliner and pirates garb one more time, and possible more films lined up since the final scenes and the coda after the end credits blatantly teases and flirts with its audience and fan base.

Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) is back to charm one and all with this swagger and wit, and this time sans his Black Pearl as he goes on a mission, or at least it's one of those self fulfilling rumours, that he's assembling a crew to set sail on a quest to locate the proverbial Fountain of Youth. As with what's characteristic of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, there are always more than one party interested in either joining in or serving as competition, and here we have an English royalty keen on recruiting Jack amongst their ranks to led by Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now an English privateer, the Spanish Inquisition team who are narratively the weakest of the lot save for one pivotal scene, and a true blue pirates outfit led by the villainous Blackbeard (Ian McShane) aboard his Queen Anne's Revenge ship, with his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) as his first mate and one time ex-fling of Jack's tasked with luring the latter out and joining their quest rather reluctantly.

But everyone has ulterior motives, and in true Jack Sparrow fashion, the character relationships all play out like the reality game show Survivor as in previous films, where deals are cut, some allegiances are strongly forged while others being temporarily serving mutual self-interests of the moment. Part of the fun is to witness how Sparrow navigates through sticky situations and almost always come up tops, with the nagging suspicion that Fate smiles on his side consistently, seemingly having no plan at all when he embarks on various mini quests in gathering artifacts all geared toward the primary mission, from the capture of mermaids (and they're of the nasty in attitude variety) to chalices all part of a strange ritual required to get to the secret fountain everyone is craving for.

Joining the fray this time round are old hands such as Geoffrey Rush in bringing a lot more to the Barbossa character, and Gibbs (Kevin McNally) as Jack Sparrow's loyal and trusty first mate. Penelope Cruz becomes one of two token female characters here, although her real life pregnancy created some complications during the shoot, and the credits had to thank her sister Monica Cruz for standing in for the long shots so that there wouldn't be a need to hide that bulge in the tummy - it's quite obvious which scenes these were as her character's hat had to be tipped downwards. You can also tell that the presence of Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as a priest and mermaid respectively were to counterbalance the loss of Orlando Bloom's Will Turner and Keira Knightley's Elizabbeth Swann as the film's requisite lovebirds, which developed too fast too soon, and left it hanging, possibly to be explored in greater detail in subsequent films.

As an action adventure, the action sequences if compared to the previous installments, have all been toned down, and are the same old routine often seen in other action adventures. Do we need another escape on a chariot, or yet another big brawled sword fight sans blood (this is a Disney film after all) with nary a vulgar word spoken as they are cut off at the right moment? Too many one on one swordfights amongst various characters also made this quite repetitive to sit through, and I'd secretly enjoyed more of the dramatic wheelings and dealings more than the action in this film, despite the middle portion sagging under its own talkie weight.

Gore Verbinski had given up the director's chair to allow for new blood to take over the helm and steer the franchise into a new direction, so enter Rob Marshall, whom I'd say has the unenviable task of continuing a very well loved, and profitable series of films. While the direction may be new and the storyline necessary to be branching off from where it left off, somehow On Stranger Tides failed to recreate the entire adventurous spirit that the original trilogy possessed. Perhaps it's the cutting down on funding that made the action sequences quite dull, also having to shoot those scenes in 2D before undergoing 3D conversion to keep costs down.

Sure the storyline is an adventure film for fans to follow up on the exploits of Jack Sparrow, but it sure felt more of the same with that air of familiarity not broken. Should another film be made, let's hope it has some of the swashbuckling cavalier feel to it rather than just another exercise of routine.
Now don't get me wrong, the latest film Disney churned out did have its moments. It tried hard to downplay the 'epicness' of the story and provide us with a simpler and more straight forward adventure, much like the original, and does it pretty well. However, this instalment doesn't leave you with that same feeling you get when watching the others – you don't really get the sense that you've just watched a Pirates of the Caribbean film. All the best elements from the first three films were hardly in use here. Heck, Blackbeard is one of the most feared real pirates there were, and he was so underused. The returning characters don't act same as you'd expect them to (Barbossa, really?) and I especially didn't like the fact that the main cast hardly share any screen time together, due to a limiting script. There were a couple of stand-out moments, nothing memorable though – the journey didn't really go anywhere, even forgetting the anti-climatic ending. Verbinski 'got' the POTC films, and this one just seemed to be lacking that something special. It was OK, but that was just its problem – it was OK.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) travels to London to locate a person who has been impersonating him. The imposter has been recruiting a crew to search for the legendary Fountain of Youth. First Sparrow rescues his former first mate, Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally), who is about to be hanged, though the two are captured. Jack is brought before King George II (Richard Griffiths), who wants him to guide an expedition to the Fountain of Youth before the Spanish find it. Heading the expedition is Jack's old nemesis, Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now a privateer in service to the British Navy after having lost Jack's ship, the Black Pearl, as well as his leg.

Jack escapes, and is found by his father, Captain Teague (Keith Richards), who warns Jack about the Fountain's tests. Jack then discovers that the imposter is Angelica (Penélope Cruz), his former lover and daughter of the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), who possesses several magical powers, including the ability to shrink other ships down to miniature size and contain them within bottles (the fate of the Black Pearl). Blackbeard is also a master of voodoo, and has rendered his most trusted lieutenants into completely loyal, seemingly invulnerable zombies, in addition to being able to create working voodoo dolls. Finally, Blackbeard possesses a magical cutlass that gives him total control over the rigging of any ship, allowing him to easily subdue a crew by tying them up with the ropes. Blackbeard forces Jack to join his crew and lead them to the Fountain to circumvent a prophecy that a one-legged man will soon kill Blackbeard. Meanwhile, Gibbs, who memorized, then destroyed Sparrow's map, joins Barbossa's crew in order to beat Blackbeard and the Spanish to the Fountain.

Aboard Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, Angelica reveals that the Fountain's water must be drunk from silver chalices once belonging to Juan Ponce de León, and that one chalice must contain a mermaid's tear. Whoever drinks from the chalice without the tear will die; while the person drinking from the chalice with the tear will have their life magically extended, by "all the years the other person has lived, and all they might have lived". Blackbeard intends to use this magic to circumvent his fated encounter with the one-legged man, and so the Queen Anne's Revenge heads to Whitecap Bay, where he traps a mermaid that a captive missionary, Philip Swift (Sam Claflin), later names Syrena (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey). Blackbeard then sends Sparrow to steal the chalices from de León's grounded ship. Sparrow arrives finding only Barbossa: the Spanish have already taken the chalices.

Barbossa admits he only wants to kill Blackbeard for capturing the Black Pearl, forcing Barbossa to amputate his own leg to escape in the process. He and Jack devise a plan to defeat Blackbeard; they then steal the chalices from the Spanish camp nearby. Meanwhile, Angelica tricks Syrena, who has fallen in love with Philip (who returns those feelings), into shedding a tear, which Blackbeard collects, then leaves her to die while forcing Philip to go with him. Sparrow returns with the chalices and Gibbs, who he had reunited with while helping Barbossa. Jack blackmails Blackbeard to get back his confiscated magical compass (which points in the direction of whatever the person holding it desires most) and to free Gibbs in exchange for giving him the chalices and leading them to the Fountain. Blackbeard accepts Jack's terms and Jack continues to lead them, while Gibbs, who is let go, departs with Jack's compass.

At the Fountain, Blackbeard and his crew are attacked by Barbossa and the Spanish, who have been sent by the king to destroy the Fountain, believing its ability to grant eternal life to be an abomination against God. After a lengthy fight, Barbossa stabs Blackbeard with a sword laced with lethal venom from a poison dart frog, but Angelica is also wounded by it. Barbossa then steals Blackbeard's magical sword and escapes alongside Blackbeard's former crew. Philip, mortally wounded, escapes and returns to Syrena and frees her. After finding the chalices and giving them to Sparrow, Syrena returns and takes the dying Phillip underwater to heal him.

Angelica intends to sacrifice her life so that her father will live, but Sparrow tricks Blackbeard into drinking from the chalice without the tear while Angelica drinks from the other, killing Blackbeard and saving Angelica. However, suspecting she may try to avenge her father's death, Sparrow strands her on an island, intending for a passing ship to find her. After much bantering, they both declare their love for each other, but Jack still leaves her on the island knowing she is untrustworthy. Jack then meets up with Gibbs, who used Sparrow's compass to find the Revenge and has retrieved all the shrunken ships, including the Black Pearl, before Barbossa sets sail. The two head off, hoping to find a way to return the Pearl to its original size.

In a post-credits scene, Angelica, still on the island, finds Blackbeard's voodoo doll of Sparrow which has washed ashore.
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