By: Emily Kellas
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
It seemed only fitting that one of the top grossing and most beloved series to ever come out of the Disney Studios, Pirates of the Caribbean would kick off the summer season. With so much excitement and hype, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides proved the brand’s continued popularity and money making ability, yet for any serious Pirates fan, On Stranger Tides remains a bit of a disappointment.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides brings back some of your favorite characters from the previous three films including the scoundrel with swagger, Captain Jack Sparrow played by, of course, Johnny Depp. Directed by Rob Marshall On Stranger Tides played host to some new never before seen pirates including the infamous Blackbeard (Ian McShane), and his long lost daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz). All were added in order to fill the gap left by the secluded buccaneer couple of William Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Kiera Knightly), noticeably absent from the newest film.
Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) is back and this time he is out to find the illusive fountain of youth. After reuniting with a slighted past lover, Angelica, Sparrow finds himself taken prisoner aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, captained by the most feared pirate on the seven seas, Blackbeard (McShane). Meanwhile, both the Spanish and the British have sent out ships in search of the fountain’s magical powers. Though the Spanish remain mysterious, the British fleet is led by none other than Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), traitor to the pirate lifestyle who now works for King George. With three ships making their way towards the fountain of youth, it is a race to see who makes it there first with all of the necessary knowledge and items needed to obtain the sought after youth.
The film does its job in that it makes for a very entertaining family film. But in comparison to the rest of the series it lacks inventiveness, as it remains fairly predictable throughout. The plot seemed to drag as the ships converged on the fountain, making the film unnecessarily long. On Stranger Tides also attempts to bring in a new hunky hero with the introduction of a young missionary held captive on Blackbeard’s ship. Though I’ll admit the missionary is terribly attractive, the acting, and character was not a sufficient replacement for the loss of William Turner.
One aspect to the film that did peak my interest, and wasn’t paid as much attention to as I thought it would be, namely, the mermaids. I was both surprised, and intrigued by the films portrayal of the underwater maidens as essentially the very first femme fatales. Beautiful and melodic, yet unsuspectingly vicious, the mermaids proved to be the most interesting new addition to the Pirates franchise.
With that said, the film did offer some well done comedic moments and brought back one of the best movie scores of the last ten years, leaving this fan content, yet not quite satisfied. Though it didn’t quite live up to expectations, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a fun film, so gather up your fellow scalawags and hit the poop deck… or the theater, to watchAmerica’s favorite high seas thief back in action.