by Rick Grant
Aye, here we have another in the endless Pirates saga, 8 years after the last Curse of the Black Pearl. The film is punctuated by shameless overacting by Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, Penelope Cruz as Angelica, alleged daughter of Black Beard, played broadly by Ian McShane of “Deadwood” fame. Yes, get your best “aarg” on, but watch out for those vicious carnivorous mermaids.
This time, the scurvy bunch of pirate lowlifes have enlisted the help of Jack Sparrow to obtain for the Crown the proverbial Fountain of Youth. Nay, pirate wannabes, it’s not in Florida, but some unnamed tropical forest.
Depp, who obviously loves hamming up Sparrow, is again channeling Keith Richards as Errol Flynn with preposterous stunts galore. He swings like a monkey from balconies, engages in numerous sword fights, and taunts Angelica. He does all this amazing pirate stuff without smearing his eyeliner or losing that stupid stick in his hair.
Somewhere in all the murky special effects extravaganza, the continuity of the script is lost in the dank jungle as Barbossa’s English military contingent follows Sparrow on the quest for the Fountain of Youth, first spearheaded by Ponce de Leon.
In this role, Depp has inspired bits of comic brilliance, but he’s cruising on his well worn characterization of Sparrow. Adding the supernatural elements gives the weak story some depth, but the thread of the scenario is lost in the indiscernible blubbering of the cast. It seems every A-lister loves playing pirates but they rely on their own interpretation of the classical pirate accent.
Penelope Cruz plays Angelica like a pissed off she devil. There is no romance in her eyes, only vengeance for Sparrow’s past transgressions. Fear not, Sparrow gets his revenge.
Although I adore Johnny Depp in films he makes with Tim Burton, and he has a certain appeal as Sparrow, he hit his mark and waltzed through the shoot for his big payday.
Ah yes, today’s moviegoers can’t seem to get enough of the big budget special effects movies and as long as there is a market for the Pirates of the Caribbean films, then producers will continue making them.
Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Review
by Rick Grant