Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Opened: May 20, 2011
Run Time: 136 min
When people hear the name Pirates of the Caribbean most think of Jonny Depp‘s Jack Sparrow. My parents love the first film and can’t see how the second and third movies can come close to being as entertaining. So when I heard about a fourth film being created a year and half ago I knew that they would probably write out Elizabeth and Will from the story, creating a movie entirely around Jack Sparrow.
Those who enjoy Jack Sparrows antics, his rum covered lines and his ability to get through most bad situations with himself intact, will enjoy the film. However those who want to see an ode to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise who want to watch the film and feel lucky to catch connections to past films and inside jokes that only fans will know, are going to be disappointed. If they made a Star Wars movie based only on Han Solo and had no mention of the Skywalker family would you be disappointed? That is what Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is to me.
Individual scenes were fun, I laughed and cheered Jack Sparrow on. However when the first sword fight scene was a carbon copy of the Will and Jack’s fight in the first movie, I was ready for other connections. There was no mention of the last three movies except for three familiar characters: Captain Barbosa, First Mate Gibbs, and The Black Pearl. If I was to come into the film forgetting everything that happened in the last three films the use of the compass and the map Jack had would have to be explained. The compass and map were not explained and someone who went into the movie with out the background of the last three movies would not understand what they did or where they came from. If the writers wrote the story truly disconnected from the last three films, explaining Jack’s love of the Pearl, his unique compass, and where he got the map I might have enjoyed it. However one must use knowledge of the past franchise to understand this movie. This is not a stand along sequel like Tron: Legacy or Fast Five. I would only recommend this film to Jack Sparrow fans. All the cool 3D effects were in the preview so you do not need 3D glasses to enjoy Jack’s antics. I would not suggest 3D for this film.