Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Astrid Berges-Frisbey directed by Rob Marshall Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Same Old Tides

Having masqueraded as a judge to save his old friend Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally) from the gallows Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp - The Tourist) finds himself on the run around London where he bumps into his former flame Angelica (Penelope Cruz - Elegy) who is trying to drum up sailors for a voyage dressed as Sparrow. Together they join Blackbeard (Ian McShane) in his search for the Fountain of Eternal Youth. But they are not the only ones as both Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech) and some Spaniards are also in search of the Fountain of Eternal Youth. Along the way they must collect some items including two chalices and a mermaid's tear.

It has been a while since I last watched a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie and whilst much of the first movie has stayed with me parts two and three are mostly forgotten. The only thing I remembered was that I was less than enthused by "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and is why I was never in a hurry to watch this fourth.

Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Now from a business point of view I can understand why they made "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", the loyalty to the franchise and the popularity of Johnny Depp pretty much guaranteed a profit but as a movie lover it was not a movie I felt was needed. And my feelings were proven right as all this fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is is an exercise in making money rather than really delivering a movie with a storyline which furthered the story.

I guess for many that won't be an issue as "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" delivers the three things which it appears audiences wanted. Firstly we have the larger life characters with Johnny Depp this time around accompanied by the sexy Penelope Cruz as well as some returning and new faces. That also means we have Johnny Depp delivering a crowd pleasing performance as Jack Sparrow who stumbles around and makes us laugh. And we also have lots of spectacular, special effects driven action with Jack frequently getting in and out of trouble.

The thing is that whilst all of this combined makes "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" a typical big screen blockbuster it does little for those who want more than blockbuster. Now I could go on bemoaning everything which did little for me but the main thing is that when it comes to the frequent action it is so over edited that it lacks believable flare. Maybe I am old fashioned but when I watch someone on the run or sword fighting I don't want the action to be broken up by 2 second cuts as if it has been pieced together from a series of staged scenes but I want it to flow.

What this all boils down to is that "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" works as a typical piece of big screen entertainment for those happy to see Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow again and are entertained by heavily edited action. But for those who enjoyed the originality and humour of the first movie will once again be left disappointed as it fails to really do anything new despite the inclusion of the sexy Penelope Cruz.