‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ should have stayed out there

Pirates of the Caribbean is back once again with its fourth instalment, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”. The first three may have had you laughing along with them, but this one is more of a spin off than an actual sequel.


Penelope Cruz (Angelica) stars alongside Johnny Depp (Captain Jack Sparrow) in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean. Photo: Disney

The film follows the legendary Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on his newest venture, to find the fountain of youth. Without sidekicks Elizabeth and Will Turner, this adventure has a new, more pioneering vibe.

Along the way he runs into infamous sea dog Blackbeard (Ian Macshane) and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz), who are evidently after the same thing. The expected swash, buckle and adventure ensues as these two parties race to the fountain.

Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is back too, peg leg and all, masquerading as a captain of the king’s navy to get to the fountain first. Captain Jack going off alone shows that he is the character that carries the films and his humour and roguish charms are what stop this film being a completly oversold flop.

On its own, the film is a decent action and adventure flick and the scenery and locations looked great in 3D, a new phenomenon for the trilogy. Compared to the other three films though, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” has a lot of plot holes.

There is a major reliance on the audience knowing a least a bit about what went on in the first three films. But some things aren’t explained at all, like why all the main characters have suddenly decided to migrate to London at the same time.

This film has a lot of throw backs to the first, “The Curse of the Black Pearl”. A lot of the fighting sequence ideas are reused, making it seem like the producers have run out of new ideas for the films and have resorted to tried and tested techniques to keep the same level of interest in the franchise.

This film feels forced, and although the idea of Captain Jack forever being in new ventures is a tempting one, there are only so many ways you can have a sword battle and go hunting for a fabled treasure without the plot becoming totally ridiculous.

This fourth instalment feels like it should be a DVD extra to the third film, “At World’s End”. “On Stranger Tides” has took the surrealism one level too far. Although as a stand alone it is a decent pirate thriller, in terms of the franchise it has let the side down.

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