Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides picks up where the last Pirates movie left off with our favorite pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), searching for the Fountain of Youth. Well, a few things have happened since we last saw Jack, such as Mr. Gibbs’ (Kevin McNally) arrest, the capture of the Black Pearl by Blackbeard, and Barbosa’s (Geoffrey Rush) joining his Majesty’s Royal Navy.
The movie is full of action scenes containing Jack’s signature bumbling and comedic moments that we have come to expect from the Pirates movies, but the main thing missing from this movie was a strong supporting cast, more specifically Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley.
It’s not that I was a huge fan of Bloom’s or Knightley’s characters in the previous movies, but they did give the movie an added dimension that seems to be missing from this movie. Perhaps the writers realized this since some stand-ins are thrown in with Philip (Sam Claflin) and Syrena (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) – shallow characters with forced innocence whose relationship is rushed and distracting.
Speaking of things that didn’t add much to the movie, I have to recommend 2-D over 3-D for this movie. The 3-D aspects frequently were more distracting than not. On multiple occasions, fast-paced action scenes were blurry and made it difficult to see what was going on or to follow.
Though the movie has its problems, it’s not a horrible movie. Fact is, it has many of the things that made the previous Pirate movies enjoyable such as Jack Sparrow’s witty moments, impressive stunts, cool bad guys like Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and beautiful co-stars (Penélope Cruz).
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a fun summer blockbuster film; it just doesn’t break a lot of new ground from what we’ve seen in the previous three movies. But if you love Captain Jack Sparrow, you will definitely want to check this one out. And stay through the ending credits for the traditional Pirates bonus scene.