Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides

So, I saw On Stranger Tides just a couple hours ago. I assume that most anyone reading this already knows basically what the franchise is about. On Stranger Tides continues the story of Captain Jack Sparrow, who ends up in England to rescue a good friend from the gallows and ends up getting Shanghaied. Onto The Queen Anne's Revenge, ship of Captain Blackbeard himself, no less. So he gets unwillingly pulled into a three-way race between the British, the Spanish, and Blackbeard to find the Fountain of Youth.

Aaaaaaand, I'm not gonna say anything more about the story. If you haven't gotten it spoiled already, I don't want to do it for you, since you really should see the movie.
I'm rather uncertain how to approach this review, since there is so much that could be said. I suppose I should start with the first three movies.
I love Curse of the Black Pearl. It's just plain a great, fun,  well-made movie. Dead Man's Chest... Eh. I had fun while watching it, but the more I thought about the movie after I had watched it and the explosions and sword fights faded from memory, I realized that the movie had no substance and was kind of stupid. I actually never saw the third movie. What was it called? At World's End? Whatever. I probably should see it, but I was just so disappointed by the aftertaste of the second movie that I don't want to watch it.
So then comes news of the fourth movie. This could either rescue the series from the sequelitis-laden history it had gained, or it could sink the series for good. (Yes, that expression was used on purpose.) I admit that I was cautiously optimistic going into the movie. It's roughly based (very roughly based) on an award-winning pirate novel from the 80s that I'd heard good things about. (Haven't read it, but it's on my list.) And I am glad to announce that it exceeded my expectations. The movie has a surprisingly different feel to it than the previous films, but that wasn't a bad thing. It felt... I dunno, I hesitate to use such a cliched word, but the movie felt a lot more epic than the previous entries. All the good qualities of the other movies make an appearance and a lot of other good stuff makes a showing, and it all works. The actors, both those playing main characters and those in supporting roles, do a spectacular job. The twists in the story are satisfying, the humor is plentiful, the music does its job, and the action is just over-the-top enough.
What more can I say? Johnny Depp is a good as ever, Penelope Cruz creates a new character that you want to see more of, and Geoffry Rush continues the role of Barbossa in such a way that you actually cheer for him as a character instead of liking him just because he's such a great villain.
I... I just don't know what else to say. It's a great movie. I mean, I hope I don't have the experience I did with Dead Man's Chest. I don't think I will, because On Stranger Tides wasn't quite so in-your-face, which leads me to think that my mind was somewhat more engaged in watching the movie than watching the pretty explosions. In the end though, I don't think it matters. I enjoyed the movie. If I still like it next month it'll probably find it's way into my DVD collection sooner or later. If not, then I still had a more than enjoyable time, and I think you will too.

Bottom Line: Go and see this movie. Why haven't you seen it already? Go.

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