Posted On:5/20/2011 10:33pm
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow, now on a quest to find the legendary Fountain of Youth.
In the fourth installment of the popular Disney franchise, new director Rob Marshall takes over from Gore Verbinski, as well as casting the enigmatic Captain Jack as the hero of the story, dropping the previous duo of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. On Stranger Tides draws from a number of different sources, with about a half-dozen creative inputs, and it really shows. With the screenstory and screenplay written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, based on characters by those two, Stuart Beattie, and Jay Wolpert, suggested by the novel of the same name by Tim Powers, based on the ride in Disneyland, all directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the whole film comes off as hastily and sloppily made, a confusing mash-up of far too many different ideas, some of them even promising. However, the most interesting and intriguing concepts are buried under a mountain of bland and forced re-hashes of the same jokes and character ticks we’ve seen a thousand times since the first film back in 2003. It still feels like a Pirates film, I suppose, thanks mostly to Hans Zimmer’s familiar score, but more like an especially well-funded Pirates fan fiction than a truly original piece or work. Marshall spends a lot of time enjoying the Hawaiian scenery, but doesn’t really capture that feeling of adventure that characterized the first trilogy.
Returning stars Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush feel familiar in their old roles, but the script is flat and dry, and they can do only so much to make it entertaining. Aside from the weak dialogue, the story itself is a ridiculous hodgepodge of far too many elements, too many characters, and too many emotional threads that they’re trying to pass off as a coherent plot. Threats come and go as required, leaving little to really drive home any significant sense of importance. Ian McShane plays a powerful and fearsome Blackbeard, and Penelope Cruz is a solid counterpart for Depp’s Sparrow, but there’s just so much unfulfilled potential in the relationships between all the characters. Already clocking in at over two hours, the creative team would have done better to focus on a third of the different pieces they tried to incorporate into the film.
Probably the biggest disappointment in Marshall’s vision is the poor execution of the action sequences. Despite all the explosions and swashbuckling (and there’s plenty, to be sure), it all feels flat and uninteresting. The pace doesn’t get fast enough to be exciting, and the cinematography lacks the epic impact that the previous movies excelled at. Perhaps I’m judging On Stranger Tides too harshly based on it as a part of the Pirates franchise, but in the end it’s just a weak film trying to bank on the success of its predecessors.
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Posted On:5/20/2011 10:59pm
I actually like it better than 2. The biggest problem for me was the mermaid love angle, which I believe is there to set up number 5 if it makes enough. It felt like JD was a second tier almost third tier character and it was more about Black-Beard and Barbarossa. I almost wonder if the flow would have been better without Depp. Oh and there wasn't enough mysticism as the first trilogy.
Posted On:5/21/2011 2:31am
yeah, dead man's chest was pretty awful, but i forgive it because i figure it was all to set up the third film. stranger tides doesn't really have anything going for it, and i feel like rob marshall should stay away from actioners and stick to musicals.
Has entered Barovia...
Posted On:5/21/2011 2:59am
Exactly my impression. Instead of delivering one mediocre sequel after another, they should just have made ONE good one. Or, left the series alone.
OR, just made the Monkey Island movie, as they originally intended.
Posted On:5/21/2011 2:10pm
Or they can milk it over and over again since people will keep going to see it, it'll be an acceptable kids/family movie I'm sure. Video games, lunch boxes, Lego co-branding promotions. Also, Johnny Depp is a pretty big draw still.
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Posted On:5/21/2011 2:17pm
The first one was closer to a kids/family movie. This one was nowhere near that at all. Each one has moved further and further into adult land. This one has a large diatribe running through it concerning pre-marital sex and a fatherless child.
They are catering to adults and teens now.
yeah, dead man's chest was pretty awful, but i forgive it because i figure it was all to set up the third film.
That's exactly why I give this one a few more points. If they never make another one it ended. There isn't much to care about. I hated the second one because it reminded me of Back to the Future 2 a movie made to force you too see the second one. Fortunately, I waited until a day before to see the second one on DVD.
When I Get Back
Posted On:5/21/2011 2:39pm
How is Penelope Cruz in this?
Posted On:5/21/2011 2:46pm
Still hot, buy mediocre. Black Beard, Barbossa, and Cruz in that order. JD was good, but he wasn't given much and he felt more like a tag along character to me. Most of his parts were to feed into a speech by Barbossa or Black Beard. It was really weird the more I think about the movie. I enjoyed the start and then it moved away from Sparrow to all of the other characters with him as a facilitator.
I did like the ending religious twist, I did not see that coming at all.
Posted On:5/21/2011 2:55pm
Well, yeah, Cruz is superhawt, so yeah.....going to see this tomorrow.
I hated the first one, first time around and it wasn't until rewatching it before seeing the second one that I liked it. The third, with Chow Yun Fat was the best, in my opinion.
Looking at the structure of the films, Barbossa, Will Turner, Davey Jones and Elizabeth were always pretty much on par with Depp as far as screen time, role weight, dialog, etc. It was just Depp was such a fucking moonbat, he stole the movies.
Sounds like the cut back on his screentime knowing he would still be the focal point.
Posted On:5/21/2011 3:06pm
My order is 1-3-4-2. The first one was all Johnny IMO. The second was mixed. The Third one was equal for all parts and balanced well. This one felt like 2 with a better flow. The best way to describe this movie is that they took the template for three and forgot that it worked because, you had two full movies of back story of the characters.
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