“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is loaded with charm.
It oozes from Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, and it blows like an ocean breeze off Penélope Cruz’s Angelica. The mermaids? They’re swimming in the stuff.
Thanks to the movie’s collective star power, which includes Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa and Ian McShane as Blackbeard, the fourth installment of the “Pirates” franchise is filled with fine moments.
The problem is those moments aren’t stitched together very well. When the final credits rolled, I sat in my seat for a while, wondering why “On Stranger Tides” didn’t deliver more.
More what, you ask?
First, let’s talk about what the movie actually delivers. It seems the fabled Fountain of Youth does exist, and three forces are after it: The English, the Spanish and the pirates. From the start, I’d bet on the pirates.
Thanks to Angelica and her charms, Jack gets roped onto the feared Blackbeard’s ship. Jack used to have a map to the Fountain of Youth. Now, he has his memory and a magic compass to guide the way.
There’s plenty of action, especially when the mermaids come on the scene. You’ll also get a share of comedic moments. The thump Jack delivers to another character’s eye is priceless.
You’ll notice we used that word again: moments. In order for a lot of the action and comedy to happen, you have to just go with the flow of “On Stranger Tides.”
Maybe that loose feel helped the film to its $90 million debut weekend. A tighter, better constructed film probably wouldn’t have made any more money, but it would’ve been more fun to watch in a couple of years when “On Stranger Tides” hits cable television.
In short, it’s a fun, charming film that annoyed me several times.
I give “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” a C.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
- Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” a C.
- “Roadkill” Bill with Wizard 106.7 gives it a B. “It was better than the last one, but it felt disjointed.”
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal