Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Guys, we have finally reached the end of my “Pirates of the Caribbean” review series. If you’ve somehow missed my reviews of the previous three movie then I suggest you go read them. And if you didn’t miss the reviews, I suggest you go read them anyway. Still, I’ve had fun reviewing these movies for you guys, and I hope you’ve enjoyed me reviewing them for you. Now, without further ado… let’s get into the final review.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”.

Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) is back. And after he runs into an old flame named Angelica (Penélope Cruz), he soon finds himself at the mercy of legendary pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach (Ian McShane). So now team Jackbeard goes on a quest to find the legendary fountain of youth. Oh, and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), now working for the English government, is also out to find it because why the fuck not. So now we have a more simple and straightforward narrative, at least for a “Pirates” movie. However, I never found myself invested in the story of this movie. There wasn’t any point where I found myself interested in what happened. I just followed along saying “This isn’t bad… but it isn’t great either”. I’ll give it this at least: Since this is the shortest movie in the series (around 2 hours 10 minutes, dicounting end credits), the plot never feels poorly paced. It’s not bloated like “At World’s End”, but it’s also not as interesting as “Curse of the Black Pearl”. The plot is here is just… fine.

The characters here are for the most part kind of bland, but there are a few decently interesting ones. Johnny Depp of course returns as Jack Sparrow and even though he’s still almost a parody of the OG appearance of Sparrow, he’s still good in the role. Kevin McNally returns as Gibbs and he was once again good in the role. Geoffrey Rush once again played Barbossa and he once again killed it even though he wasn’t allowed to be quite as crazy as in the previous movies. Now onto the new ones because most of the old cast seem to have disappeared. Penélope Cruz plays Angelica, an old flame of Jack’s and she’s actually a decently interesting character. She’s tough, she’s clever, and she’s just fun. And Cruz is great in the role. She and Depp even share some pretty good chemistry here, the banter between them is actually somewhat fun. Ian McShane plays Blackbeard, a menacing pirate captain who isn’t afraid to kill you if you cross him in the slightest. And McShane just kills it, he gave a commanding performance that just stole the show. Sam Claflin plays Philip, a man who strongly believes in god, and while his character is incredibly bland, Claflin does a pretty good job here. Stephen Graham plays Scrum, a man on Blackbeard’s crew, and while his character isn’t the most interesting, Graham is great in the role. Really, overall it’s a well acted movie.

Like in the previous two movies, the score for this movie was composed by Hans Zimmer and it was really good. Some tracks were the typical big, fun, “Pirates” music. But there were also some tracks where Zimmer took help from Mexican music dup Rodrigo y Gabriela, and that made for some pretty great tracks. The use of their guitars within the score was just awesome, I loved it. So overall the score here is really good and it works well for the movie.

This is the first “Pirates” movie to not be directed by Gore Verbinski. Instead it was directed by Rob Marshall and I think he did a pretty good job. The shots look fine, and scenes have an okay flow to them. What is a shame is that when Verbinski was at the helm of the series he gave us some gor(e)geous movies that were visually interesting (to say that least). Marshall on the other hand doesn’t really bring that, this movie isn’t as interesting to look at. It doesn’t look bad, it just looks… dull. Speaking of dull, the action scenes here are dull. They are okay, but nowhere near as fun and cool as in the previous movies. I’ll say this though: the visual effects here are great. I have no bigger comment about them, I just thought I’d say that they look great… moving on!

This movie hasn’t been that well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 32% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 45/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is an okay movie. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, great music, okay directing, and really good visual effects. My problems with the movie is that the plot isn’t very interesting, a lot of characters here are quite bland and uninteresting, and it’s just not very interesting to look at. Time for my final score. *Yarr*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is a 6,45/10. While not great, I’d still say that it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is now completed.

There, my “Pirates” review series is over. Thanks for reading and thanks for interacting. Have a good one.

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

We’re at the third part in my series of “Pirates of the Caribbean” reviews! If you haven’t read my reviews of the first two movies, you can easily find them here on my blog. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s just get into the review.

Ladies and gents… “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s end”.

(Spoiler alert for the end of the previous movie) After Jack’s (Johnny Depp) death the hands of the Kraken, he has been cursed to be stuck in Davy Jones’ locker. So now we find Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), and Will (Orlando Bloom) going to great lengths to get Jack back, because they apparently need him to take on and hopefully stop the evil Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). And now we have our bloated pirate adventure. I don’t necessarily have any problems with long movies as long as they’re well paced, but this movie meanders a lot to stretch out that runtime (two hours and forty-one minutes!). They’re also going a little overboard (HAHA!) with the overall plot, having so many plot-threads going on to the point where nothing feels truly fleshed out. There are moments in throughout the runtime that show great promise, making me actually go “Now, that’s some good storytelling”, but the overall thing (while pretty fun) feels bloated and messy.

The characters in this are for the most part pretty entertaining, though most of them are kind of uninteresting, mainly because they get no real development. Johnny Depp is still good as Jack Sparrow, though he’s also getting up to a few too many silly antics throughout. What was a charmingly unpredictable character has become kind of a buffoon (more than he already kind of was). He has some good moments throughout, though he feels more like a parody of Captain Jack rather than the original Captain Jack. Elizabeth Swann, she’s still a great character, a tough and clever woman who still shows that she isn’t perfect. And Keira Knightley is once again great in the role, even getting a very emotional scene in the moment that kind of got to me. Will Turner, generic handsome hero-guy who overall is kind of a dull character. The only thing making the character watchable is Orlando Bloom who gives a charismatic enough performance. Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, once again a fucking blast to watch, he’s amazing. Jack Davenport is once again great as Norrington. Bill Nighy, once again kind of hammy as Davy Jones, but it still works perfectly for the character. Jonathan Pryce, once again great as Elizabeth’s father. Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook came back as Pintel and Ragetti, and they’re both still pretty fun. Kevin McNally, once again good as Gibbs. Stellan Skarsgård is once again great as Bootstrap Bill. Tom Hollander once again was geat as the smug asshole known as Cutler Beckett. Naomie Harris was kind of goofy but still really good as Tia Dalma. Chow Yun-Fat was good as pirate captain Sao Feng. We also got a fun little cameo in here from Ketih Richards, playing captain Teague (and if you don’t know who he is then 3, 2, 1) AKA Captain Jack’s dad. Yeah, it’s a good cast.

The score for the movie was (like in the previous movie) composed by Hans Zimmer and it was really good. Big, epic, fun, and just great. The only part about it that bugs me is one track called “Parlay”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, it’s a good track. What bugs me about it is that is rips off Ennio Morricone’s “Man with a Harmonica”. As I was watching the movie as preparation for this review I sat there thinking “I- is that Man with a Harmonica?”. Seriously, listen to both tracks and compare them. Other than that, the score is great.

As with the previous two movies, “At World’s End” was directed by Gore Verbinski and I think he does a really good job. There are some really great shots in this movie, in particular there is one where the stars are reflected on the water, it’s pure eye candy. And the shots where this movie doesn’t feel like blowing my mind, they look good too. Verbinski really has a good eye for visuals. Speaking of which, I don’t think I ever mentioned in my previous reviews (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) that the sets in these look fantastic. Also, the costumes and such… great! And the CGI looks great once again, especially of course on the crew of the Flying Dutchman. And the action scenes, while bloated and kind of dumb, are quite fun.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 45% rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 50/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best makeup and Best visual effects.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is a mess but it’s also pretty fun. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, really good directing, and great visual effects. My problems with the movie come from the messy plot and a good amount of characters not being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *Yarr*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is a 7,78/10. While quite messy and bloated, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is now completed.

One more movie in this damn review series left…