Cinema Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

BY GETTING back to basics, recapturing the comedy and the brilliance that saw everyone falling in love with Captain Jack Sparrow, On Stranger Tides brings all the best qualities flooding back with the result that this movie is almost as good as the first, almost.

As a major fan of Johnny Depp and his alterego of Jack Sparrow it was difficult to watch the franchise slowly descend into utter ‘special effects’ madness with the last installment, At World’s End, making me wonder was the franchise indeed at an end.

The writers lost track of what made the characters so likeable in the first film. By the second and third sequel, the supernatural/fantasy elements had taken over so much that the storyline and plot were sacrificed. Thankfully, the fourth film has pulled back the reins on this, keeping the supernatural to a few mermaids and a quest for the fountain of youth, and for most of the film expertly utilises the relationships between the favourite characters.

Excellent comedic timing, numerous memorable one-liners, and plenty of action returns here to create a sequel which is more than impressive, and for once, I didn’t mind the 3D.

Where does a pirate flick start? With Sparrow in trouble of course, what else? While in the clutches of the king, Sparrow comes face to face with his old ‘frenemy’ Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush ) who, sporting a questionable fancy wig, posh clothing, and minus a leg, attempts to get his greedy hands on the map which points the way to the fountain of youth and revenge.

But he is not the only one who wants it, the Spanish, as well as the vicious and black magic dealing Blackbeard (Ian McShane ) are in pursuit of it too. Following an action-packed escape Sparrow crosses paths with a woman from his past, Angelica Melon (Penelope Cruz ), who uses him to find the fountain.

A expert con-artist, she smuggles him aboard Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, and Sparrow must use all his wits, cunning, and tomfoolery to stay one step ahead of whoever wants to kill him the most, which is basically everyone.

After an encounter with mermaids, Sparrow sparks up an unlikely partnership in order to get to the fountain, culminating in an action-filled fight scene and with Sparrow having to momentarily shelve his selfish ways and give in to certain “stirrings”.

I absolutely loved this film as it brought back all the ingredients that made the first film so brilliant.

Verdict: 4.5/5

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