Anthony's Film Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean adventure continues the excitement like before...

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides reminds me a lot of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, because it's a fourth entry in a major film franchise following the success of a film trilogy that supposedly wraps up the series once and for all. Before seeing it, I wondered if the movie was necessary because of the risk that the quality of the story, characters, and the like would suffer due to a lack of ideas. As I would find out, this new Pirates of the Caribbean movie was still a lot of fun to watch, simply because it kept doing what made the series a hit.

With that, let's review what has made the Pirates of the Caribbean films successful, as they also apply to this fourth film. The production design and costume design are realistic and practically flawless so that the setting really looks 18th-century. The action is intense, breathtaking, and well-choreographed. The characters are certainly likable, whether they are menacing or humorous. The script is written with dialogue that is engaging without being dull or cliched. All of these elements create a world that brings out the excitement of pirate adventures.

Oh, I forgot to mention something else. The plots of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies also like to focus on familiar topics in history and folklore. Here, two different ships are sailing on a quest to discover the Fountain of Youth. On one ship is Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), a pirate now working for the King who wants England to reach the Fountain first. On the other ship is Captain Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz). She's seeking the Fountain to restore some life in her father. And also on this second ship is the one and only Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). He wants the Fountain simply for the glory, but, due to unforeseen circumstances, has to do it with Angelica and Blackbeard, not by himself.

As expected, I enjoyed the action and the story. I especially liked the sequence involving an encounter with mermaids, creatures that are beautiful but deadly. What's perhaps the most interesting is the chemistry and tension between Jack and Angelica. You see, they once had a romantic connection before it got broken off. So on one hand, they seem to be coming closer together, but on the other hand, they're also at odds with each other, especially given their personal reasons for seeking the Fountain of Youth.

Basically, if you're familiar with the Pirates of the Caribbean series thus far, and/or my reviews of the first three movies, then you know what to anticipate for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In other words, more of the same, which of course is a good thing. It should also be no surprise that the ending suggests another Pirates of the Caribbean movie in the near future. Maybe a second trilogy will result after the fifth and sixth films. Hey, what do you expect for a film series that hasn't lost its touch since launching in 2003?

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, visit the Internet Movie Database.

In addition, check out my review of the following:

The Pirates of the Caribbean Films


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