PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.
Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides is number four in the series. The first one was a delight, partially because no one had seen a pirate be quite so fey or cutesy as Johnny Depp was being, and if all we read in the trades is true, Disney was having apoplexy, but the movie made scads of money, hence the next three movies. The next two were long and bloated and even Johnny Depp says didn’t make a whole lot of sense. So supposedly this one is both shorter and more cohesive; which it is. It’s a mere two hours and eight minutes, as opposed to two hours and 38 minutes. But I really think that this is a franchise that’s done its thing, that’s jumped the shark or walked the plank or gaffed the audience or whatever metaphor we’re going to use. Johnny Depp we’ve seen before. Penelope Cruz seems relatively lifeless in this, although I agree that she’s probably the only woman who could be Johnny Depp’s look-alike, Doppelganger. Geoffrey Rush seems like he’s doing it mostly for the money. Ian McShane is a worthwhile addition as the evil Blackbeard, but he doesn’t have much to do. I like the mermaids a lot, but I miss any fresh approach; the idea is you’ve seen it all before and Hans Zimmer’s music while stirring just gets louder and louder, and while his music is effective, we’ve seen it all before, we’ve done it before, other than the mermaids. We miss Orlando and we miss Keira, but I think this is a franchise that probably should retire itself. I just thought even at two hours and eight minutes it was kind of boring, and I don’t think that’s what the intent of this movie was. If you’ve never seen it before, maybe. I don’t think 3-D added anything to it. There were a couple of swords, but this is a movie I think that could have actually had a half hour taken out of it, and maybe it’s time to retire the franchise. But it will probably make money, and it apparently sends lots of people to the ride at Disney World, and maybe that’s its whole function in life. But in terms of entertaining movie, forget about it. One and a half stars.