Director: Rob Marshall
Writer: Ted Elliott/Terry Rossio
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
Starring: Johnny Depp/Ian McShane/Penelope Cruz/Geoffrey Rush/Keith Richards
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 137 minutes
Oh Jack Sparrow, whatever have they put you through and why? Why did they not let you rest at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl or even Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest? Why did they have to dig you up to do yet another sequel to this series that decreases in quality as each movie is made? All of the questions have one common answer: money. Yes, unfortunately, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is an unnecessary sequel that was made purely for the money with the thought of the movie and the series coming in second place and yet it’s somehow a little better than Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. The story held a promise that could have potentially lifted the dark cloud that circled around the series since Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End but unfortunately, all this movie had done was made those clouds darker. The first half of the story is brilliant and held some promise that this movie was going to be the best out of all three. However, after the first half had finished, it was like the story ran out of steam and suddenly stopped as the quality, as well as your attention, declined very quickly. If you thought Will and Elizabeth from the first three movies were bland and boring, they have nothing on the characters in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as most of them had the problem of being tedious. Unfortunately, the characters from across the first three movies have changed drastically and not in a good way. Jack Sparrow isn’t the same character we grew to love in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and is instead annoying and at times, tries too hard to get laughs out of the audience as well as being incredibly soppy. Unfortunately, the same is said for Captain Barbossa, he was a brilliant character in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End but in this movie, it’s like he’s gone through a personality transplant and is a different character. Blackbeard makes a great villain for the movie but he’s instantly forgettable and, even though he was brilliant and creepy in the first hour of the movie, he loses that scariness in the second half. There’s one person in the movie that felt particularly random and that was the religious pirate, it just felt like he was quickly written into the movie as he looks and feels out of place.
It would be nice to say that the cast give out a terrific performance but, just like this movie, most of them were hit and miss, even Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush. Both of them were fantastic in the other Pirates of the Caribbean movies but that’s because their characters were written well. In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, they’re not up to their usual standards but they were just decent, nothing fantastic. The best performances came from Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz who played Blackbeard and Angelica respectively but even their performances couldn’t save this movie. The script was lousy and the character development went out of the window and some scenes felt way too slow. There were also some unnecessary scenes that made you question what relevance they had to the story. Even some of the action scenes didn’t feel exciting like they did in the others. Overall, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was fantastic for the first half of the movie but the second half was a total bore and a mess. Fans of the series may enjoy this but why fix something that isn’t broken?
Why didn’t they just leave the series alone and left it as a trilogy?! Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End had an ending that said goodbye to the characters but leaving it open to the possibility of a sequel. I think they should have left it as a trilogy because clearly, this movie was too rushed after the first hour and it felt like the writers got bored and wanted to finish it as soon as they could. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is plagued with the same problem that has occurred in every Pirates of the Caribbean movie and that is the runtime. It’s simply too long, even though this is the shortest of the series, clocking in around two hours and fifteen minutes. The special effects aren’t very good compared to the others but there were some very good parts, particularly the mermaid scene, which is definitely the best scene out of all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. If you love the series and you like Jack Sparrow or Captain Barbossa, you might enjoy this but take heed, they’re changed men. The first half of this movie is the best out of all of the movies but unfortunately, the second half lets it down and is the worst out of the series and so, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strangers Tide is unfortunately stuck in two worlds and is below mediocre and yet it’s somehow better than Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. It would have been better if they didn’t release a fourth movie in the first place or they ended the movie straight after the mermaid scene. The kids will enjoy it but unfortunately, for the adults, there’s the risk that they won’t feel that sense of adventure that they felt in the first three. Who would have thought that the movies really needed Will and Elizabeth Turner? It’s been proven that sequels can be just as good as their predecessors so here’s hoping that the whole of the fifth movie will be better.