Pirates of the Caribbean: On
Stranger Tides (4/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 137 minutes.
OK for children.
When Johnny Depp was first
signed by Disney to star as Capt. Jack Sparrow, he intentionally made
his performance as outrageous as possible to upset the suits back in
Hollywood who were watching the dailies. Upset them he did, but they
didnít give him the hook and the film was a enormous monetary success,
although I thought it was 2 Ĺ hours of preposterous tedium.
Depp is back for his fourth
try at Capt. Jack, and this one, directed by Rob Marshall, is the best
Iíve seen, although for me to say that is damning with faint praise
since I despised the first three. Also back are Geoffrey Rush as Capt.
Jackís nemesis, Hector Barbossa, and Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs.
Fortunately, McNally has forsaken his bad impersonation of Robert Newton
as Long John Silver, so his performance adds to the film, rather than
New to the series are PenŤlope
Cruz, who replaces Keira Knightley as the female interest (I hesitate to
use ďlove interestĒ because Capt. Jack seems asexual, to give him the
best of it), Ian McShane as Blackbeard, Astrid BergŤs-Frisbey as a
nubile (but not naked; this series eschews nudity, but whatís to hurt to
show a mermaidís breasts; arenít they what make them alluring?), and Sam
Claflin as Philip Swift, an obstinate missionary.
The story is still
nonsensical; they are all searching for the Fountain of Youth, and the
dialogue difficult to hear and even harder to comprehend. Deppís drunken
Capt. Jack is getting tired and filmmakers should know by now that
alcoholism is not something at which they should poke fun in a major
Frankly, itís an ordeal to sit
through all the jabberwocky thatís paraded in this series. None of it
has ever made any sense, yet all the films are far in excess of two
hours. If one were to try to concentrate and bring lucidity to any of
them, one would leave the screenings exhausted and defeated.
Sometimes films with little
intellectual quality at least offer pleasing visual effects. Not this.
The 3D is ineffectual. Except for the credits, there is very little
third dimension in the film. It looks pretty flat with or without the
glasses. But the glasses take away some of the brightness of the film. I
watched part of it without the glasses. It didnít make the film any
better, but it did brighten up the color and was not blurry.
The best way to view this is
on TV where you can quickly turn it off.