Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Year:
2011
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
IMDB rating:
6.7
Director:
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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Reviews
a disappointing end to a grande saga
First things, first : the fourth installment of the epic Pirates of the Caribbean saga, was never meant to be one. The original story concluded, fair and square with At World's End, in 2007; but for Johnny Depp, the titular Captain Jack Sparrow, who wanted one last hurrah before it all ended.

And to be honest, the saga could have done without this. For one, Pirates was at its best where it ended : as a trilogy. What Rob Marshall has done is add a piece of camphor to the butt of a glowing cigarette, hoping that it will light up. Instead, it has turned out to be wet patch.

So with this movie, we find our beloved Jack Sparrow in the middle of London, searching for an impostor who has been impersonating him. A lot of swashbuckling heroics follow. He saves his erstwhile first mate Joshamee Gibbs from being hanged. While escaping he is captured by King George II 's men. The king has a conversation with him wherein he is asked to guide an expedition to the Fountain of Youth, headed by his former arch-rival Captain Hector Barbossa. He comes to know that the Spanish have already set sail in pursuit of the Fountain. Sparrow jeopardizes the conversation and escapes, only to meet his father Captain Teague who warns him about the Fountain's tests. Here, after a brief sword fight, the impostor is revealed and it turns out to be Sparrow's former lover, Angelica (Penélope Cruz), the daughter of the ruthless pirate Blackbeard. Following Angelica's ploy, Jack finds himself aboard Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, and after a failed attempt to mutiny, Jack is forced into Blackbeard's crew. And as it turns out, Blackbeard too, is headed for the Fountain. While en route, Angelica tells Jack how, in order to be effective, the Fountain's water must be drunk from chalices belonging to one Juan de León, one of which one must contain a tear drop of a mermaid. Legend had it, that the person who drinks from the chalice with the mermaid tear would absorb the remaining years of the person drinking from the other chalice.

Meanwhile, Gibbs, who had had Jack's map showing the path to the Fountain is taken captive by the king's men. As a desperate last resort to save himself, he memorizes the map before burning it in front of them. He is thus asked to guide them, and a race ensues.

What happens thereafter is nothing more than routine drama. Sparrow gets into brawls. A lot of sparks fly. Mermaids come in.

Oh, wait, I must elaborate on this.

Mermaids. Beautiful half human-female-form, half fish-form beings. Their depiction was throughly brilliant. Their attack on Blackbeard's men at Whitecap Bay was portrayed very well indeed, and it was possibly one of the few good heart-in-your-mouth scenes in the movie. The captured mermaid and later, her chemistry with the captive missionary, Phillip Swift formed an essential part in whatever little story there was.

All in all, not the kind of movie one would expect, to follow up on such a saga as Pirates. It certainly does not take your mind out for a ride, but then again, none of the Pirates ever did that. The question is, does it do what was expected of it? Was it the visual treat that PoTC has been synonymous with? Was it the surreal extravaganza that Gore Verbisnky had started out with, in The Curse of the Black Pearl?

Clearly, no. It only does, but half live up to the expectations that an ardent Pirates fan would harbor. Which is what happens when you do something that Marshall so incongruously did. Obliterate two protagonists entirely (did anybody else miss Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann?), take an unrelated and an underrated story, and try to chip it into a chronicle as grand as Pirates, and call it the Grand Finale.

So should you watch the movie? If A, you are a Pirates fan, then you would watch anyways. If B, you are not, and are hesitant on watching it because you haven't seen the earlier ones, then do. Because the story is almost completely unrelated to the first three movies. If C, you are just looking for a good movie to watch, I would half suggest this one. Not fully.

And if you do choose to watch, do not miss Jack Sparrow's dialogs and retorts. They are as witty, as snide, and as epic as ever. Also, do not miss the post-credits scenes. That is one and the only scene that actually makes you think.

For what it was, Pirates of the Caribbean IV : On Stranger Tides was only a swan's song. It was a graceful swan while it lived. But it sure died a very sad death.
2011-05-25
I knew it............
I knew this was going to be not as good as the first Pirates movie, you could see it from the trailer. Not only is it not near as good as the first but the second and the third movie blows this one far far far away!

So what made this one in the series garbage well where to start: The story was just dumb and it had no point to it. The Actors in the movie sucked they could not act at all and Jack Sparrow could not safe it alone. The director made it into a mess, most scenes was so dark you did not know what was going on.

I really feel like they only mad this to make some money and they did not have any fresh ideas. This is no Pirates of Caribbean movie.

What also really made me mad was that guy and the mermaid! Comon were they cast to fill Bloom and Knightly shoes or what?! They really cant act at all!

Go watch the 2D and save your money do not waste it on 3D, or just over look this one and go watch something els ( Why did i not watched Thor or Fast 5 :( ).
2011-05-23
not good enough
Captain Sparrow finds himself captured by black beard and his daughter on the way to find the fountain of youth. The fourth movie of the pirates of the Caribbean tries to deal with its loses, while keeping true to the well known recipe. Jack is resourcefully, reckless and entertaining, but nothing that we haven't seen before. The story is lucking from everywhere, and it has too many things going on. It gets confusing from time to time, boring and maybe the deja vu feeling gets tiring after a while. In the end, I found it incomplete and a little idiotic, even though there were some good bits here and there that were enjoyable. So I give this movie a 4 out of 10.
2015-07-24
Sinking ship
It's a funny thing about Johnny Depp. Perhaps more so than any other contemporary actor, people often view his presence in a movie as something of a mark of quality. I know many people who will see a film simply because he is the star, and until recently I might have understood why, even if I wouldn't go quite that far myself. However, since around the time of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film (2002's The Curse of the Black Pearl), I've found myself less and less impressed, or even interested at all, in almost anything he's done. I'm always willing to give a talented actor, particularly one with as many great performances under his belt as Depp, a chance to surprise me, and win back some credibility, and it was with this mindset that I went into On Stranger Tides. Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the latest entry in Disney's swashbuckling franchise is by far the worst yet, and my personal admiration for Johnny Depp has reached a new low.

There's no denying that the success of the first POTC film came as something of a shock to many people, both critically and commercially. Before it's release, the idea of adapting a theme-park ride to film was seen as a creative death knell by an admittedly cynical part of the movie-going public (myself included), but the film defied critics to become one of the more memorable action-adventure blockbusters of the new millennium, and introduced Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, one of modern cinema's most charming and appealing characters. On Stranger Tides works hard from the beginning to maintain the style and tone of the initial trilogy (all directed by Gore Verbinski), while simultaneously making it clear that this is a new story, albeit with a handful returning characters. The problem however, is that the new story is just too overloaded with new characters, vacuous action, and unnecessary, tedious subplots.

It's very hard to gauge Captain Jack's motives in this film. He swings wildly between the selfish yet lovable rogue from the earlier stories, to a newly considerate and almost emotional hero which doesn't seem to fit at all. Jack was always the best element of the POTC franchise, and the unfortunate use of his character harms the movie irreparably. Geoffrey Rush returns also as Barbossa, alongside new characters Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and Blackbeard (Ian McShane), all talented actors who do their best with the poorly written dialogue, with McShane in particular standing out as a worthwhile addition to the cast. And then, there's newcomers Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as the missionary Philip and mermaid Syrena. Where do I start with these two…..

I guess there's a feeling in Hollywood that every story needs a romantic element to reach a wider audience, and indeed Verbinski's POTC films had the Will Turner/Elizabeth Swann thread successfully placed at the forefront of the narrative. Regrettably, new director Rob Marshall's (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha) attempt to replace Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley with these new young lovers is On Stranger Tides' greatest flaw, and any time attention is paid to their story, what little amount of fun and humour the film has is sucked completely away. The story progression grinds to a halt as we're subjected to this highly implausible and somewhat disturbing (beastiality anyone?) romantic plot between two characters who have no significant ties to Captain Jack, only one of which has any purpose in the movie at all. It's all simply a ploy to appeal to the mythical 'four quadrant' audience, and in this case it is unforgivable.

That this movie will go on to make huge profits for Disney I have no doubt, and while there is a somewhat ambiguous ending in terms of further sequel prospects, I find it hard to believe that they will make the smart choice and retire Captain Jack and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise before further damage is done. This film is of such low quality that it has actually changed how I feel about the series as a whole, and the first film in particular (which I previously loved), but the most unfortunate casualty for me is Depp's reputation. Hopefully he'll think twice before applying the makeup and donning the dreadlocks again, and abandon this sinking ship.
2011-06-15
Pirates of the Carribbean 4 3D is simple-minded and fun
I must say I enjoyed Gore's Pirates of the Carribbean trilogy very much. Although the third one is crammed with many characters and confusing story plots, I still had a great time watching ships being wrecked apart. When a forth movie is announced, I was wary of it as I thought Gore has already concluded his vision. I did not actually show much interest in watching it until I heard it is shot in 3D and I am a big 3D fan. Pirates of the Carribbean: On Stranger Tides is an entertaining ride and much more simpler than the bloated At World's End.

The story: Johnny Depp returns to his famous role, witty Captain Jack. His friend, Gibbs is back. Barbossa returns too. And these are the only characters that are back for a forth outing. Jack is still as witty as ever. Characters wise is okay. Some characters are under-used like the mermaids. Those action fans who expect Gore's visual and epic battles scenes will be a little bit disappointed in here. Rob Marshall goes for smaller yet still thrilling action set pieces. On the note of ships wrecking, there is none here. Story wise is alright. The pace moves decently. Critics and audience who complained that the previous movie is too bloated now do not need to wreck their brains with characters and confusing/long-winded side plots. Hans Zimmer is top-notch here again with the famous Pirates of the Caribbean music. As a 3D fan, I was a little disappointed with its usage of 3D. Shots of scenery are good but when it comes to the action, it lacks of the visual effects it is supposed to have and in your face moments. I have to admit that this is a bit too long for a 3D movie, struggling to keep the 3D glasses on top of my glasses and craning my neck like in Avatar.

Overall: It is another Pirates and blockbuster movie to whet movie-goers's appetite. Of course, it is not like the Gore's movies or even as big as his but this still stand up with Rob's different directions. This might start up another series as this will no doubt earn a lot in box office.
2011-05-19
Aggressively Mediocre
I enjoyed the first Pirates film, yawned through the second, and never saw the third. When this one came to the bargain cinema, the power was out and I was looking for something to occupy the time before the power company did their thing.

It was not two-plus hours well spent, but it was adequate to pass the time. There was some action to distract, a few laughs here and there, and some passable special effects, though they were sparing this run-through.

My main problem with it was that despite getting rid of the incredibly annoying characters of Will and Lizzy from the first three films, as well as most of the rest of the recurring cast, they still found a way to avoid Jack as much as possible. It wasn't really about him any more than the other films. The promises to explore his past were completely untrue, and we got little more than a few jokes about how he knew Angelica. He was always a treat when he was on-screen, but so much of the film centred around less interesting characters that it was at times off-putting.

Jack also seemed not to move the plot as he had in the previous films. In the first, he was always the driving impetus for movement. In this one, he seems to be swept up in everything else happening and never once actually drives anything. Instead of being a capable captain whose apparent buffoonery is often to get his enemies off-guard, he really does seem like just a very lucky idiot here, which isn't really fair to the character built through three films already.

Geoffrey Rush's Barbossa was well-acted, if frustrating, and Ian McShane's Blackbeard was full of personality and gravitas, if completely unsympathetic. Unfortunately Penelope Cruz, despite being a capable actress, has little to work with as Angelica, and she failed to be anything but irritating until her very last scene. Why couldn't we have had that interplay the whole film? Sam Claflin somehow manages to be more annoying than Orlando Bloom as the inane missionary Philip, but he at least fulfills his role as eye candy, inasmuch as he can. Astrid Berges-Frisbey is serviceable as the mermaid Syrena, but makes little impact. The rest of the cast is fine but not prominent.

The story is plodding and meandering, which is not surprising since it had nine screenwriters. It never seems to know what it's doing, and yet it manages to be rather unexciting. When the LEGO game released in tandem is more thrilling than your film, you know there's an issue.

The theme of redemption and faith, overwhelmed by clumsy religious leanings, was off-putting and interfered with most of the characters involved being in any way sympathetic or interesting. The two who seemed to embody the extremes of that faith -- Philip and the Spanish captain -- both came off as completely awful, with the first an ineffectual clod you wanted them to be rid of and the latter nothing more than an ignorant, disrespectful zealot. The Spanish also tended to be nothing but a deus ex machina, who never made any impact on the story and only did anything when the script needed a convoluted climax. It was tremendously unfulfilling that they received no consequences for any of their actions at all.

At least Jack's past with Angelica poked merciless fun at the seeming necessity for 'romance' in these films, even the pastiche between Philip and Syrena. Perhaps in the next film, they will dispense with the weak attempts at romance and concentrate on action and adventure, which is what people go to these films to see.

Overall, it was a film that was okay for wasting time, but nothing special. Not better than the first, although at least it didn't end like the second, and I hear it was far better than the third. It was just unfortunately rather dull and unexceptional, which is a shame since it is supposed to relaunch the series.
2011-08-09
It's great, even the 3D effects!
This film is about Captain Jack Sparrow and his coerced voyage to find the fountain of youth that is heavily sought after by various individuals and even countries.

People in Hong Kong are lucky to get "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" earlier than the United States, and even luckier is that most cinemas here already have evening shows the day before its official release.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" has very good 3D effects. I have not watched a lot of 3D movies, but this is easily the best I have seen. Instead of the layered 2D effects that they call 3D, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" has real 3D that gives you the feeling that you really are there at the scene, watching events unfold.

The plot is easily understandable, straightforward but very engaging. It's more action and adventure this time than previous instalments. It's also more funny, even adult humour finds its way into this Disney production (involving a comment on the viewpoint of a missionary). The mermaids are visually stunning, and I really thought the first mermaid is Amanda Seyfried, but it's a woman called Gemma Ward.

Of course, the ending paves way for a sequel. I am looking forward to the next one already.
2011-05-18
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.
2012-02-29
Please shoot me.
I gave up on the Pirates after the second movie but my daughter wanted to see this and I wanted popcorn. I was hoping by the end that they would just kill everyone including me for sitting through this mess. Jack Sparrow was interesting in the first movie, with a kind of strangely intriguing but yet intelligent characterization. They left the character a mystery that we hoped would be explored in subsequent films to create an interesting story. We loved the love story between Elizabeth Swan and 'searching for his self worth' Will Turner. Though the second film was a mess, the third at least gave them a closure.

This film does nothing to enhance Jack's character it's just another meaningless quest of him to regain his ship again (so tired of this). Only Barbosa gets any kind of cohesive storyline and once again his character shines. Maybe he should be the3 star of the pirates instead of Jack Sparrow, then at least we might be entertained. I won't even begin to talk about how god awful all of the secondary characters were including Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane as boring Blackbeard. I also won't say anything about the pitiful secondary, poorly written so called love story between a mermaid and a member of Blackbeard's crew. It was laughable and not in a good way. I couldn't stop laughing when all I was thinking is that I wanted the poor lovesick boy to just die. Pitiful Pirates.
2011-06-02
Another Trip With Jack Sparrow
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a fairly decent film in terms of expectations. It met all my expectations from previous films and even exceeded them compared to POTC3.

The story is fairly simple in the fact that it is made clear from the beginning where the story has to go. There are a few twists and deal changes which adds a little more depth to the story of the overall story arc. The special effects are often very good but in parts look a little cheap (the swords for one). I am not sure if this is just for the 3D aspect of the movie or if it will look the same in 2D.

The 3D is very heavy and intense at times in this movie and therefore can hinder the viewing at times because often characters would appear in the foreground and look blurry compared to those in the background of the shots.

Another thing which also did surprise me was the unnecessary use of sexual innuendos and moments which were quite surprising for a Disney film. Having said that it worked 9 times out of 10 and made the whole audience laugh.

Overall, if you are a fan of the POTC franchise then you will enjoy this because it is far better than the previous installment but does not quite top POTC2 in the opinion. The new characters are a breath of fresh air although I would have like to have seen more new characters throughout to keep the story from going stale which at times I felt it did.

Hopefully they will add more characters when the next film is released as I am sure there will be another.

8/10
2011-05-19
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