Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), PG-13, 137 minutes - From what I have read online, the creators of the latest Pirates installment wanted 'dumb' down the plot. That isn't meant in a bad way, there was just so much going on in the second and third films (who was two timing who) it really took away some of the fun. This time around they were definitely successful in providing a plot that isn't so convoluted, but it dragged on a bit.
On Stranger Tides marks the first film in the franchise that isn't directed by Gore Verbinski. Instead Rob Marshall (Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago) was at the helm. Of course Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow returns. After all, there wouldn't be a Pirates of the Caribbean franchise if not for him. The rest of the cast is comprised of a nice mixture of familiar faces (Geoffrey Rush, and Kevin McNally) and new characters (Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane).
The story does include a little two timing - or at least characters not revealing their entire hands - but is pretty straightforward. The Spanish are said to be in search of the Fountain of Youth. The British join in the search as they can't bear to have such power fall into the hands of the Spaniards. It is rumored that Captain Jack knows the location of the fountain and he gets pulled into the race by Black Beard (McShane) and his daughter (Cruz). Wait, Black Beard is neither Spanish or British you say? Well, he to is looking for the fountain as he needs to drink from it in order to break the prophecy that he will be killed by the one legged man. The funny thing in all of this? Jack could care less about the fountain. He has other motives. But is that really surprising?
On Stranger Tides is another fun entry into the Pirates franchise, but at almost two hours and twenty minutes, it probably could have been trimmed down a touch. It slows down in a couple different places because scenes seem to be drawn out unnecessarily. If you liked the previous Pirates movies it is definitely worth checking out, just make sure you hit the restroom before hand.