Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

In London, Jack Sparrow(Johnny Depp) saves Joshamee Gibbs from the gallows. But, Jack is captured by the British soldiers and brought in front of King George II. The king asks him to the lead British forces to the legendary Fountain of Youth before the Spanish forces find it. Jack has no intention of finding the Fountain of Youth. Moreover, he doesn’t have the ship Black Pearl anymore. Still, the king insists because of the recent rumor about Jack Sparrow recruiting men in search of the Fountain. During the meeting, the king introduces Hector Barbossa(Geoffrey Rush) who has recently turned into a privateer after losing Black Pearl and a leg to the pirate Blackbeard(Ian McShane). An enraged Jack escapes.

After the escape, Jack accidentally meets his dad Captain Teague(Keith Richards). His father cautions him about learning all the rituals associated with the Fountain if he is planning to discover it. While trying to find a ship, Jack comes across the imposter who is recruiting men using Jack’s name. The imposter turns out to be Angelica(Penelope Cruz), Jack’s former lover. Angelica tricks Jack and makes him a crewmember of the ship she commands. Soon, Jack learns the ship belongs to Blackbeard and Angelica is Blackbeard’s daughter. Now, three different forces – British, Spanish and the pirates – race towards the Fountain. They also encounter beautiful yet beguiling mermaids during their journey. The real motives of the various men are slowly revealed.

Rob Marshall directs the latest installment of this popular series. It has all the necessary ingredients of a film belonging to this series – acrobatic fights, fabled treasure, supernatural ships, evil captains, mermaids and forbidden love. Yet, the movie fails to impress because of multiple factors; the primary being the exit of Gore Verbinski from the series. Rob Marshall’s tale is a watered down one boring at many places. Rob’s Jack is a lover who is still smitten or has stirring in Jack’s own words. Jack has become a meticulous planner now. Previously, everything was left to the viewer to question whether it is Jack’s luck or forward thinking. The surroundings are not lush anymore. There are no awe-inspiring CG work in this. For a viewer who has seen two ships slugging each other on a maelstrom in “At World’s End”, everything is an anti-climax. Ultimately, this turns out to be a predictable and lackluster ride inching towards a disappointing climax. The 3D effects are good.

Johnny Depp already has an Oscar for portraying this role. There is no series without him. But if you take him out of this movie, there is no movie at all. The rest of the cast is overshadowed by him. You will also have a fleeting glimpse of Judi Dench along with a hilarious line in the first few minutes of the movie.

Even if you are Jack Sparrow, this one gives a lingering feeling of wanting more. Gore Verbinski is sorely missed. Skip it.

Language: English

Genre: Action

Rating: **

Tags: Movies,Johnny Depp,Geoffrey Rush,Penelope Cruz,Ian McShane,Rob Marshall,Action


  1. The movie may not be good enough but just to see Jack Sparrow in action people will flood to the theatre and of course there is Penelope Cruz:)

  2. Aye Sir! I agree on all you said save one. 3D effects. I have no idea why they decided to release this movie in 3D. It doesn't help the movie watching in any way. Just one scene where the sword pierces the door, there was nothing else to be enjoyed in three dimension.

    And the blasted subtitles! now they have made appearance in theaters. This alone dissuades me from investing time and money in watching in theaters. Never again, Sire. Never again.

  3. @Perception - Yes, I am also a Jack Sparrow fan! But I was disappointed with the movie and portrayal of Jack Sparrow.

    @Sajesh - There are few 3D effects that remind of "My dear Kuttichathan". That is merely to shock you. Thrust it on the audience and they will recoil. But when I look at the 3D effects, I look at if they have been able to capture the depth. For instance, when they are hunt for mermaids, the lighthouse on the cliff with the backdrop of sea is an amazing shot where I felt at the beach (although I'm sure most of it is blue/green screen!). According, the depth plays an important part in action movies where we know how close the protagonist is to danger. :)

    The subtitles. Well, it is an art to watch the movie without getting distracted by subtitles and also an art to watch the movie with subtitles without forgetting the performance (while watching foreign movies!). I have years of practice. :)


Post a Comment