Pirates of the Caribbean

On Stranger Tides

The fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series is basically a reboot after the original trilogy, and though we don’t have or need the introduction of two of the characters, this movie is trying to capture the feel of the original series, actually the feel of The Curse of the Black Pearl. Depp is back and he is as piratey and looney as ever, Rush is back and he is the pirate-stereotype, as usual and Ian McShane is playing my favorite pirate of all times:  Blackbeard.

Plot Synopsis (There Be Spoilers):

When we left off at the end of At World’s End, Jack Sparrow was in a small boat headed to Florida to search for the Fountain of Youth with the center of the map that was of so much use during PotC 3.  We start this movie after Sparrow has run into some difficulties and is in search of a way to get to the New World – actual he is in England – and he is a judge at the trial of Gibbs.  After helping Gibbs escape, Sparrow finds himself being asked to provide the route to the Fountain of Youth to the English crown.  In the process of escaping he is reunited with a long lost love Angelica.  Angelica captures Sparrow and he is pressed into service onboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge – Blackbeard’s ship.  Barbossa is chasing Blackbeard, who took his leg in an in-between time and Sparrow across the Atlantic to Florida.  Once in Florida, the search between Blackbeard’s crew, Barbossa’s English Navy and the Spanish (yes, the Spanish – more on this later) ensues.  It ends with Blackbeard dead, Angelica marooned on an island, Jack regaining the Black Pearl and Barbossa back in his hat and in charge of a pirate crew the way that it should be.  A nice set up to movie number 5.

The Good

Johnny Depp – Jack Sparrow – I can’t help it, people.  Johnny Depp is my hero and I wish, nay, I hope that he keeps up being Jack Sparrow for many more years to come.  Great flick and as always we can rely on Mr Depp to bring it in this role.  He is a walking talking characterture.  From the walk to the voice, from the heroism only when needed to the humor, Jack Sparrow has become as iconic a pirate as Long John Silver himself.

There should be a “Captain” in there somewhere.

Geoffrey Rush – Barbossa – I love Barbossa.  The fact that they let Geoffrey Rush explore the pirate gone legit in this movie is a perfect addition to his character.  Where as Sparrow would have  a very hard time working for someone else regardless of the situation, Barbossa is an opportunist, Barbossa is in it for him and no one else.  The wig that he sports for most of the movie is priceless and of course his handling of the English crew is perfect and very piratey.

Taken, not lost. We were off the coast of Hispanola when we came under attack. No provocation nor warning or offer of parley. We were peppered with cannon fire. And then the sea beneath the Pearl began to roil. The Pearl was pitching and yawing so violently and every rail and spar all at once began to creak-the rigging had come to life! Our own ship turned against us. Tangling the crew, wrapping them like snakes… and wrapping around my leg! But my arms were free and my sword was still in my hand. I am the master of my ship, not Blackbeard. I am the master of my fate, not Blackbeard! So I did what needed done… I survived.

Ian McShane – Blackbeard – Blackbeard is my favorite pirate, and though I was very worried when the said that they were going to have him in this movie, Ian McShane knocked it out of the park.  He was probably a little more refined then the actually Blackbeard but he was certainly no less cruel and calculating.  Blackbeard having a little magic at his hands let’s him surviving the attack off the coast of North Carolina where he is supposed to have died plausible.  Ian McShane’s line: ” If I don’t kill a man every now and then, they forget who I am.” – is Blackbeard to a ‘t.’  In fact, in reality, Blackbeard did shoot his first mate, Israel Hands when they were playing cards once to win a dare and said something very similar to this line.

Gentlemen. I be placed in a bewilderment. There I were, resting. And upon a sudden, I hear an ungodly row on deck. Sailors abandoning their posts, without orders, without leave. Men before the mast, taking the ship for themselves. What be that, First Mate?

The Bad

Penelope Cruz – Angelica Teach – Not a Penelope Cruz fan.  She is nice to look at but the accent gets me.  I think she played well off Depp but I don’t think she was a great choice for this flick.

How is it we can never meet without you pointing something at me?

The Ugly

The Spanish – I am hoping that the Spanich figure in more for number 5 because otherwise their appearance in this movie is a little off.  If you have an explanation for why they were here. except for Deus Ex Machina, please let me know.

All in all, I liked the fourth installment of the PotC line of movies.  Good action, great characters and a descent plot move the story along without all the gloom and doom of the third movie.  If you haven’t seen i, please grab a copy and give it a watch.