The movie is subtitled “On Stranger Tides” and much of it is a tad strange and it certainly isn’t great art. But it’s a lot of fun. Johnny Depp camps it up as Captain Jack Sparrow, beginning the flick by taking the British Monarchy on and having a chase scene through the streets of 17th Century London. He is impressed onto a ship captained by Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter? Angelica (Penelope Cruz). They are in search of, are you ready, the fountain of youth.
Leading the British contingent chasing after Jack Sparrow and co is Barbarossa (Geoffrey Rush). There are man eating mermaids, ships that come alive, a love story (well maybe two love stories, if you count the ongoing relationship between Angelica and Jack) yes a love story between a preacher brought along to try to save Blackbeard’s soul and Syrena, the beautiful and not so fully clothed Mermaid. Strategically placed hair keeps the “R” rating at bay.
There is a lot of sword play and derring-do. But the key to this franchise is Depp’s Captain Jack. His dry wit and foppish demeanor make the movie. It’s worth seeing just for his role. He plays Captain Jack right out La Cage aux Faux so well that when Angelica tries to keep him from abandoning her on a desert island by telling him she is pregnant with his baby you believe him when he says that he didn’t remember….well you know. And he says he would never be too drunk to forget THAT.
Of course the premise is absurd and the characters rather two dimensional. But this is a movie about pirates and mermaids, and the fountain of youth, not about a King who needed Rush to teach him how to speak without a stutter.
If you want to have a good laugh, and there is one around every corner, see this movie. But don’t expect to be blown away. It’s not that kind of film.
Oh, I suggest you DO NOT see the 3D version. There isn’t much of a “wow” factor in the 3 D parts. It seems that 90% of the movie isn’t 3D and the 10 percent isn’t worth seeing the 90 percent through the glasses which actually makes it seem like you are watching through sunglasses.