A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Movie Review: Pirates 4 - On Stranger Tides

Perhaps no one was more wary of this last installment than I was... (well maybe there were a few of you). I love the Pirates series, but I have to admit that the last two movies in the original trilogy are just awful. They rarely make sense, and when they do make sense, it's for questionable reasons. So why go on to make a 4th, I would always ask. What haven't we done to this franchise that hasn't already been beat to death?

The answers to this question are this: We haven't had a sequel with a legit Jack love interest fraught with delicious sexual tension. We haven't had a sequel with a simple yet interesting story-line. We haven't had a sequel script that was fresh and didn't try to piggy-back on jokes that had already been warn down. We haven't had a sequel that completely focuses and centers around the glue that holds this entire franchise together: CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW. Of course, that is until now. This Pirates movie does all the things that made us love the first one, and more. Is it better than the original, perhaps not. But is it just as refreshing and fun? Absolutely. It may be that my expectations were so low that it surprised me, but I enjoyed the crap out of this one. 

I think it was absolutely necessary to make Jack the star once again in his own story. For too long, the movies have centered around other things that were weaker than the aura that is Sparrow. Not to mention convoluted. Trimming the fat of the franchise is what made this movie good. Not saying Orlando and Keira polluted the series, but without all the extra stuff, this movie was able to easily capture the audience without anyone saying... wait... but...? and I forgot about... wasn't he with...? OMG WHATEVER JUST FORGET IT.

Also, this movie wasn't too long. It was just right. I was entertained and happy the entire time and, just when it should have been wrapped up, it was. Plus, the movie  left me with a feeling of actually being interested in future movies in this franchise, something the last two did not achieve. I just wanted more of Jack being Jack (with actual good lines written for him!) and more time with Angelica, a character I was surprised to really like. I also really enjoyed the missionary and the mermaid, the new, silly crew members, and watching Barbosa be his usual awesome self. The Sparrow/Barbosa dynamic is another reason to truly love this film. Depp and Rush play off each other so well!

Overall, this is a great addition to the series, in my opinion. It brought us back to what made the first movie so much fun. It was able to revive in me, a skeptic, the desire to see more of this series and even hope for it. I highly suggest this for anyone who loved the original and wished the rest of the series was more like it. Here is your wish coming true.


  1. YAY! I was so hoping you'd have good things to say about this, because we've been looking forward to it. I felt the same way about the last two... they were fun to watch once, but certainly not the DVD collection staple that the first film was.
    Question... for a kid who's seen all 3 of the others and wasn't scared, do you think this one is appropriate? I was afraid it might be a bit too sexy to take Jack, and I'd appreciate your thoughts!

  2. Great question. I DID think there was one scene that was a little sexier than I was used to. And the mermaids are all topless. You never ever see anything, but there are no sea-shells. Just hair that is strategically placed. It's not really a scary movie in the way the others were, but I would say it's a little more sensual, for sure. Maybe see it first, and THEN take him if you approve. Because you will more than likely want to see it twice, anyways. :)

  3. We've discussed the film at length on twitter, but I'll summarize my feelings on it. I honestly thought it was garbage. I'm a huge fan of the trilogy, and i think Dead Man's Chest and At World's End are very good films, removed from my love of the franchise as a whole. But this was just objectively terrible. Jack is acting out of character for the entire film, having been reduced to straight man rather than trickster like he was in the trilogy. And while I used to think the Will & Elizabeth stuff was dull, I never realized how badly Jack needed a foil until Will was gone. Also, Rob Marshall's direction is terrible. He films the action scenes with so little visual flair that I nearly dozed off twice. Lacking the beauty and stunning effects of the trilogy, nothing in the film is visually even interesting. Instead, it's all muddy and ugly. Blackbeard is a totally wasted villain, and the film feels like a chore rather than an adventure. Barbossa was literally the only thing that kept me interested. When the best character, Jack, can't even hold the film up, something is wrong in my eyes. Anyways, that's just me. I thought this was an epic fail of Indiana Jones 4 proportions and I honestly just want to forget it happened, especially since I love the trilogy so much. The only fault the trilogy is guilty of is just overstuffing. For their problems, the sequels had artistic inclinations and massive ambition, epic scope, and a spark of creative energy. None of that is present in On Stranger Tides. It's dull, uninteresting, and there's this nagging sense of been there, done that, that pervades the whole affair. I really really wanted to love this film for every reason you did. I honestly thought I would. But I can't defend anything in this film really. Sorry for being harsh on it, but that's just my two cents, nothing more. I can see why you loved it, but I kind of hated it. Life goes on.