Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides
One of the more interesting changes to this 4th film in the franchise is the change in “helmsman”, so to speak. Gore Verbinski is out, and Rob Marshall is in.
Whose in it?
Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Ian “Freaking” McShane, and Geoffrey Rush. One of the things I wanted to check out in this movie was how the supporting cast would play out on screen. From what I could tell, the casting choices seemed to mix new additions with the series regulars. For example, Captain Jack’s first mate; Joshamee Gibbs (played by Kevin McNally) returns for this film. With the first 3 films we had a pretty steady cast of characters, but that 3-film story arc has come to a close. Now, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are gone, so Captain Jack is officially the star of his own film, sort of.
New story, but did I care?
So, what does a film franchise, based off of a roller-coaster ride, dish out as its 4th film? Actually, before the details of the film were announced; the 4th movie could have been about whatever the hell the heads in charge wanted it to be. I mean a pirate-theme adventure film series with an affinity toward legendary treasures and swashbuckling lore. I can’t help but draw comparisons to the Indiana Jones film series. In fact, as the film continued on; I started to regard the film as a pilot episode for a “young Indiana Jones” style television series starring a sober Captain Jack Sparrow. First, I tried to pay attention to any differences I found in the direction of the film as a whole. Apparently, Mr. Verbinski dumped this series in favor of another Johnny Depp film, Rango. To be fair, Rango was a fun film; but one thing I missed in this 4th film was the way action-scenes were shot. Rob Marshall also seemed to skip over supporting character sub-plots, rendering any feelings we had toward them fake, plastic and insincere. There’s a sub-plot dealing with a captured mermaid that was trying to get the audience to feel for the characters involved, but my reaction was more along the lines of; “I feel sad because these nice people on screen have been treated crappy”. In other words, certain characters were too shallow for me to truly understand their actions in the film. The main plot itself wasn’t all that interesting either, to be honest. It was a quest to locate the fountain of youth, but the journey to the fountain felt so rushed and almost as if the wrong scenes were left out on the cutting room floor. Some parts of the film toward the “middle-endish” did not mesh well together, and even with the characters on screen being as awesome as they were; the movie’s story felt weak and flimsy.
I am now going to say the dumbest thing I’ve said in this review. Captain Jack Sparrow is awesome, but his character is not given all that much to do. Although we do see his craftiness in full force toward the end of the film, the swagger pirate felt like a much more decaffeinated version of his self from the other 3 films. He wasn’t all that unpredictable, which makes his character intriguing, and the weird romantic history he apparently had with Penelope Cruz’s character was half-assed and uninteresting. I actually missed Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley bickering in the midst of sword fighting unholy pirates.
Dollar Movie Material.
I truly think saving money and renting, or hitting up the Netflix Instant would be a better decision than seeing this film, in 3D or regular dimension. An even better idea would be to wait for the new X-Men film to drop and kick off summer right!