, Movie News Reviews and More!





































The Pirates of the Caribbean 4
On Stranger Tides

Reviewer: Richard Tara
Director: Rob Marshall
Cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Stephen Graham










If you have seen the first Pirates movies, then you will enjoy the latest and quite possibly, the last in the series. If you thought Johnny Depp was over-the-top and lilting in the last 3 episodes, well, this time he has gone all the way.

There are two ways to watch this movie. One is to just let it wash over you with disjointed scenes and the rambling plot and have fun.  The other way is trying to follow the story.  Well, there are really several concurrent plots in this movie and I will have to itemize them as much as I hate to do so for a movie review.

The main plot of this sequel is about the search for the fountain of youth.  First, there is Captain Jack Sparrow in London trying to save his shipmate Gibbs (Kevin McNally) from hanging by impersonating an English Judge.

Then there is Penelope Cruz as Angelica Malon and her father, the infamous Blackbeard (Ian McShane), impersonating Jack Sparrow (no kidding) in a pirate ship in London and at the same time planning to kidnap Jack Sparrow to get the map to the fountain of eternal youth.

As this is going on, King George of England, fat and blotchy faced, is trying to find the same fountain of youth with the help of no other than the pirate turned privateer Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush.) FYI, A privateer is pirate who is working for the government and pledges to give the king part of the loot.

Then there is the king of Spain who also has the map of the fountain of youth and is determined to find it and destroy it before others do, because eternal life on Earth is against his Catholic religious beliefs.

Wait now, we are not done yet.  Finally, there are the Sea Mermaids who love to seduce men and after having a carnal relation with the captive men, eat them!  But, a single tear drop of a Sea Mermaid is the essential ingredient of the mixture for eternal life.  However, first you have to capture one alive.

So, Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Blackbeard and his daughter Angelica, Barbossa, and the Spanish contingent all embark on a journey to capture a live mermaid, find the fountain of youth and either achieve eternal life or get killed in the process.

Sounds complicated?  Yes it does.  As I have said before, only in Hollywood screenwriters like Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio get handsomely paid to put such a complicated dribble together.  But, with a huge budget and a cast of great actors who sometimes demean themselves playing these paltry roles, it makes sense for the studios to go on churning out these movies.

Johnny Depp is a great actor. He really is and we have seen his work before many times.  He is given a lot more screen time in this movie and he obviously enjoys it.  Penelope Cruz got her start by playing tangential roles and parlayed that into a TV and Screen career by wearing flimsy clothes at Oscars and other national events.  That is how your body can compensate for your lack of talent.  Geoffrey Rush is one of the most wonderful actors of this era. He should have won the Oscar for his masterly portrayal of real life Lionel Logue in the King's Speech.  As for the rest, they are just OK.   This is just a costume adventure/comedy.  Not much depth or meaning.

Rob Marshal who directed such wonderful movies as Chicago and Memoirs of a Geisha directed this movie.  I guess he did it from his home by remote control! 

As for recommendation.  This is a fun movie but empty of content with multiple plots that each could have been a separate movie but have really nothing to do with each other.  It is fun to see and OK for the family too. But, don't try to follow the plot.

We give this movie two stars.