Movie Lines – Pirates of th Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

‘Strange’ turns in fourth Pirate movie leaves it lacking
Three movies based on a theme park ride should have been enough,
but Walt Disney Studios decided to capitalize one more time on the
popular character Jack Sparrow with a fourth film in the

Pirates of the Caribbean

series.
The last film comes five years after the third film rounded out
the trilogy featuring Sparrow, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and
Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley.) Most of the trio skipped the
last movie except for Johnny Depp, who signed on to play the
swashbuckler yet again.
‘Strange’ turns in fourth Pirate movie leaves it lacking

Three movies based on a theme park ride should have been enough, but Walt Disney Studios decided to capitalize one more time on the popular character Jack Sparrow with a fourth film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.

The last film comes five years after the third film rounded out the trilogy featuring Sparrow, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley.) Most of the trio skipped the last movie except for Johnny Depp, who signed on to play the swashbuckler yet again.

The latest film “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” has an even looser plot than the earlier movies and Jack Sparrow seems only to be in it so that he can offer some comic relief. He also serves as a loose tie that binds characters that otherwise would be unrelated.

The movie starts with Jack Sparrow on trial with a potential to be hanged in London, but of course, Jack always gets out of trouble somehow. The movie opens with his extravagant escape from jail with first mate Gibbs (Kevin McNally.) The chase through London streets is shot to optimize the 3-D version of the film so for those like me that watched it in 2-D, the angles just seemed off. There were several scenes that seemed to be in the movie more for their 3-D potential than because it added to the plot.

Jack has spent the intervening years since “At World’s End” on a hunt for the fabled fountain of youth. He has a map, but he has never been able to find the fountain successfully. His more pressing issue now is that he does not have a ship since the Black Pearl is still in the hands of Barbossa, as far as Jack knows.

The movie brings Jack in contact with his old nemesis Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Barbossa is part of the king’s navy now, contracted as a privateer to find the fountain of youth and claim it for England before a fleet of Spaniards reaches it. Barbossa believes Jack is in possession of a map to help find it, but in fact Jack has lost it somewhere in his prison escape. Jack again escapes Barbossa and meets up with a pirate who is impersonating him with the goal of enlisting more men for a mission.

The swashbuckler knows all Jack’s best moves as they sword fight in the back of a pub. It turns out to be Angelica (Penelope Cruz,) a girl Jack met years before in a nunnery. She says he stole her innocence and drove her to the life of crime. She knocks Jack out and he awakens on a strange ship.

The ship is rumored to belong to Blackbeard (Ian McShane), a pirate feared by other pirates. Angelica tells Jack she tricked Blackbeard into believing she was his daughter and she has been his first mate ever since. Like Barbossa and the Spanish fleet, Blackbeard is headed to the fountain of youth. Angelica knows all about a ritual that is needed to give years of life from one person to another, but she needs Jack’s help to find the fountain.

Later in the film, Angelica reveals that she really is the daughter of Blackbeard, and she is aboard the ship because she wants to save her father’s soul. She even kept him from killing a missionary (Sam Clafin) in hopes that it would help save her father. But Blackbeard shows little compassion for those around him – he kills a random shipmate after an attempt at mutiny and leaves others for dead for no reason.

Even knowing that death might be close for him does not stop Blackbeard from being evil. His quarter mate, who also happens to be a zombie, has predicted that a one-legged man will kill Blackbeard in a fortnight. That is why he is rushing off to the Fountain of Youth – to cheat death.

The one-legged man, most viewers will realize is Barbossa, who will land at the fountain right around the same time as Blackbeard. While the pirates are searching for a mermaid – a vicious type of sea creature – and two silver chalices belonging to the original hunter of the fountain, Barbossa is plotting his revenge. It seems Blackbeard is responsible for the loss of his leg and the Black Pearl both.

The biggest problem with the movie is that there are too many characters and too many storylines to tie altogether before the movie’s two hour and 17 minute running time ends. The movie feels disconnected since the characters all seem to be moving in different directions at different paces. The Spaniards, for instance, get the opening scene of the movie, but then they are not seen again until close to the end of the film. Jack himself seems at a loss for what he wants to do. Is he after the Black Pearl, the Fountain of Youth or a second chance at true love? The best that can be said is that Deep’s swagger as Sparrow distracts a bit from what a mess the plot is.

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