Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Posted: October 21, 2011 by Micah in Movie Reviews

Remember when Pirates of the Caribbean first came out? When we heard that Orlando Bloom was going to be in it and thought, “Oh Legolas! As a pirate? That might be kind of cool!” Back in the days when Kierra Knightley was hot, Johnny Depp was much less famous, and for the most part no one knew who Geoffrey Rush was. Those days are long past us now! Cause these days Disney are continually staring down at the dead decaying body of that original pirates movie, wondering how they can tie little strings to it and make it dance around like some sad marionette hoping no one will notice that not only is it a dead body but that it’s missing two of it’s legs, an arm, an eye, and all it’s teeth.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right now: Pirates 3 was a terrible horrible movie that made no sense at all. Pirates 2 was a terrible movie too but it at least managed to hide that fact with some funny scriptwriting. Pirates 3 (literally) contained a crab, a lot of crabs, a Chinese pirate, a fight that happened in a whirlpool, Johnny Depp licking a rock that turned into a crab,AND finally a Caribbean woman who turned into a giant and then exploded into crabs.  Let me type that again, exploded into CRABS. One more time: into CRABS. If anyone ever comes to you and says: “hey I’d like to make a movie with a woman who explodes into crabs.” I want you to take that person and feed them to a duck.

But on to Pirates 4! A movie with Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and a distinct lack of crabs.

Cause the only thing better then Jack Sparrow and a pistol: is Jack Sparrow and two pistols. And a ship on fire.

The Plot:

Pirates 4 opens up with our hero Captain Jack Sparrow being arrested by someone. And then talking to a fat guy. Oh… no wait I forgot.

The movie really opens up with some fishermen finding a dead body who turns out not to be dead but then dies. Then the fisherman go tell the Prince of Spain (who is apparently readily available to talk to fishermen who find dead bodies) and tell him something about the fountain of youth.

THEN Jack Sparrow talks to a fat guy. The fat guy (who is the king of England consequently) fatly tells Jack that he wants him to lead a fat expedition to find said fountain before the Spanish people and their fishermen do. Depp escapes from King George the Round and is then captured by Blackbeard the pirate who’s daughter (who in an extreme twist of irony doesn’t have a beard) is Jack’s old friend from High school… I mean Pirate School.

They set sail for the Fountain of Youth cause everyone else is doing it and along the way meet old characters (Captain Barbosa), make new friends (your mom), and are attacked by hot mermaids who take the term “man eater” to whole new (and extremely disturbing) levels.

The positives:

Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush are amazing. I would literally pay the price of admission just to watch these two actors play these great characters who they have so tightly developed over the years. Everything I am about to say about parts of the movie that were dumb and stupid and held together by the thinnest of threads sown by thin grandmas thinly clinging to life should not in any way reflect how awesome Depp and Rush are.

The script writing is… okay. At times. It’s hard to tell sometimes whether or not the script for Depp and Rush are good or whether they just compensate for it by being awesome. I mean Geoffrey Rush could read the writings of a hermit crab with a pen taped to its shell and I would still give him ten dollars.

The Negatives:

It seems to be a stated goal in the world of Pirates of the Caribbean to surround Depp and Rush with as many bad actors as possible. Penelope Cruz does all right but her character suffers from the same problem Kierra Knightley’s did in that she’s so two dimensional that they could have her played by a cardboard cut out of a mildly attractive seal and no one would notice.

Ian McShane as black beard does a really good job of portraying  the pirate as a slab of putrid unemotional limburger cheese but unless that’s what he was going for I really don’t have a lot of praise for him.

Which brings us to the script. Here’s the thing with the last few pirates of the Caribbean movies (in particularly movies 2 and  3 but this one has a similar feel) I can’t shake the feeling that someone is writing a bunch of piraty words on pieces of paper and then by closing their eyes and picking at random deciding what’s going to be in the movie. For instance:

Writer A: “Man that was a rough meeting. What did you get?”

Writer b: “I got. ‘Blackbeards daughter,’ ‘voodoo doll,’ and ‘ship in a bottle.’ You?

Writer A: “I landed ‘mermaid,’ ‘missionary,’ and ‘super contrived semi-nonsensical love story.'”

Writer C: “That’s nothing guys I got ‘drinking out of a leg,’ ‘jumping off a cliff,’ and ‘zombies.’ How is zombies even a vaguely pirate concept?

Writer A: “I have no idea man. At least no one got ‘giant on a ship,’ ‘Caribbean accent’, and ‘a bajillion crabs’ again.

All of that stuff actually happens in this movie and only some of it is even slightly connected to the movies main plot. It’s like they had each scene written by a different writer and didn’t show anyone what the others had written. Or possibly that they had one writer, let him write a page, and then hit him over the head with a ironclad gila monster.

In Conclusion: Once again, Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush are amazing. End of story. Win for the home team. The script is scattered and the supporting cast is sketchy but it’s nowhere near as bad as movie number three was, and so by sheer force of acting charisma I give Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

3 Screaming Sparrows out of 5

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