The sinking franchise manages to stay afloat “On Stranger Tides”. Having meandered off course on “Dead Man’s Chest” & “At World’s End”, this much-awaited fourth sequel sails ahead leaving behind Keira Knightley & Orlando Bloom, and rightly so. Plus, you don’t have to jog your memory to recall Pirates 2 and 3 (what with such convoluted plots, wonder how many would actually be able to recall). This one though has a fresh & appealing tightly knit story minus the over-the-top FX.
New to the POTC franchise director Rob Marshal (from “Chicago”) focuses on the star of the show, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). He’s accompanied by an old rival or an old flame, Spanish hottie Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and her so-called fiery father – Blackbeard (Ian McShan) to head off in a race to find the mythical Fountain of Youth.
Johnny is suave as ever in his camp gait, smirks & witty one-liners. All as expected and very satisfying all for the pleasure of Depp fans to dig in. Geoffrey Rush (fresh from his “The King’s Speech” fame) returns as Barbossa and serves as the perfect foil for Jack. Even Rolling Stone Keith Richards has a killer line as Jack’s indomitable pirate dad. Penelope makes a fine buccaneer lass & seems to even overshadow Depp at times.
With nefarious disguises, kidnappings, sword fights, vengeance & villainy, enticingly treacherous mermaids & fantastic magical lands and fountains, this franchise is packed with adventure and a dash of romance. Captain Sparrow finally admits to having “feelings” but how well does that play out?
Like the Potter franchise this cash cow will be milked till it’s dry. Crusty old barnacles may have yawned across the first three, but this film has much to offer.
Don’t forget to catch the teaser at the end of the credits for the next POTC adventure.