Synopsis: Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Rob Marshall, âPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tidesâ captures the fun, excitement and humor that ignited the hit franchiseâthis time in Disney Digital 3Dâ¢. Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in this action-packed adventure that finds him crossing paths (and swords) with the enigmatic Angelica (PenÃ©lope Cruz). When she forces him aboard the âQueen Anneâs Revenge,â the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected journey to the fabled Fountain of Youth. Along the way Jack must use all his wiles to deal with the barbarous Blackbeard and his crew of zombies, Angelica, the ravishing pirate with whom he shares a dubious past, and the beautiful, enchanting mermaids whose masterful cunning can lure even the most seasoned sailor to his doom. The international cast includes franchise vets Geoffrey Rush as the indestructible Captain Hector Barbossa and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jackâs longtime comrade Joshamee Gibbs, plus Sam Claflin as a stalwart missionary and Astrid BergÃ¨s-Frisbey as a mysterious mermaid.
Release Date: May 20, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Action, Adventure
Captain Jack Sparrow returns in the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, setting aside the characters and stories of the prior three films for a new adventure. The word “adventure” should be used very loosely in this attempt at a re-vamp and rejuvenation of the franchise as it is a futile attempt.
This time around Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) is on the hunt for the Fountain of Youth, but not at his own bidding. The feared and despicable Blackbeard (Ian McShane) is fated to die at the hand of a one-legged man and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz) is determined to save is his life via the fountain at all costs. Even if it means teaming up with the old flame who “ruined her” oh so many years ago and then left her heartbroken–Captain Jack. The feisty Angelica who is just as good with a sword as Jack Sparrow himself is no weeping wallflower, or naive to the methods of deception and manipulation. She is, aside from her father Blackbeard, the most interesting character in the film as the constant conundrum of what her true motives are and just how far she is willing to go to save her vile father’s life. Blackbeard is not the only one searching for the fountain, the Spanish are also on the quest as well as an old frenemy from the prior films, a barnacle free Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).
Everyone is in a great rush to discover the fountain of youth first but no one seems all that excited about this adventure. In fact, they all appear to be a tad bit bored with themselves and the pirate life. There are of course the occasional humorous jibs to be had, and the sexual innuendos between Captain Jack and Angelica are appreciated to lighten the mood. No one can deny themselves a laugh when Captain Jack mutters, “I support the missionary’s position.” The mermaids add an interesting touch to the terrors of the sea formula, although the morphing of them into vampiric-like creatures who devour men is a tad off-putting. Even so, the spark of adventure needed to guide the viewer through yet another Captain Jack adventure is not present; this pirate’s world has gone bland, even with a new lot of characters.
The main reason many, and most, people venture to a Pirates of the Caribbean movie is for the character Captain Jack Sparrow, as played by Johnny Depp. The lovable pirate with his drunken slurs and far too often feminine mannerisms is a great deal of fun to watch. He is a pirate with a heart, but also a thieving and conniving one who will abandon a woman at the hint of treasure or get himself into a lot of (entertaining) trouble when one of his plans fail (and most do). This time around Captain Jack has lost much of his luster and appeal. The long-in-the-tooth Jack has gone nearly sober; a tragic err on the part of Depp. The flamboyancy and playfulness of his pirate lifestyle seems to be a memory long forgotten. He can still put up a good fight, escape the inescapable, and jump and sway around with the best of them but when he is not called for action he is wearisome. The great spirit of Captain Jack, his liveliness that keeps you coming back for more, has been watered down and then dried out for most of the film. It may not be fair to blame Depp for the change in Captain Sparrow as the script and direction clearly have a hand in his performance, but for an actor who has played this role before and to perfection it is almost unforgivable to watch the character slip away from him the way it has in this fourth film.
While Captain Jack disappoints the new bad man in town, Blackbeard, is an altogether delight. Ian McShane outshines everyone as the wicked, magic wielding, pure evil pirate Blackbeard. He has no conscience, and when he speaks you fear him for you believe, without a doubt, that this man is absolutely heinous. While all the characters in the film leave no mark on the screen McShane’s Blackbeard is not to be forgotten or ignored. This is how an evil pirate should be played, and detesting him is the most enjoyable part of the entire movie.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Rob Marshall
- Producer(s): Ted ElliottTerry Rossio
- Screenwriter(s): Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow)Penelope Cruz (Angelica)Geoffrey Rush (Barbossa)
- Story: Ian McShane (Blackbeard)
- Cast: Gemma Ward (Tamara) David BrennerMichael KahnWyatt SmithDariusz Wolski
- Editor(s): John Myhre
- Cinematographer: Hans Zimmer
- Production Designer(s): BlueBolt
- Costume Designer: Cinesite
- Casting Director(s): HydraluxHirota Paint Industries (HPI)Industrial Light & Magic
- Music Score: Kerner Optical
- Music Performed By: Rising Sun Pictures
- Country Of Origin: USA