Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

While by no means a burden to sit through, On Stranger Tides is rather predictable fare, driven in large part by Johnny Depp alone. As expected by now, Depp's performance as Jack Sparrow is immaculate. His timing and his character's outlandish nature are, of course, the main reasons to watch the movie--in particular, the Sparrow's escape from King George's royal guard and his duel with his impostor double are very well done.

But Depp's exploits are, as I said, expected by this point, and the rest of the film is fairly predictable fare. Cases in point: Blackbeard believes a one-legged man will kill him and so seeks the Fountain of Youth to protect against that. Naturally, he is killed by a one-legged man (and Geoffrey Rush's Barbossa) and therein lies no surprise. When presented with a sinister test by the Fountain (which, even then, seems to be the only real test there is), Sparrow refuses to partake of the waters himself, preferring instead to damn Blackbeard by tricking him into drinking from the wrong cup, finishing him off and saving Angelica. This is both expected and disappointing. Sparrow was already expressed being turned off the idea of the Fountain when he learned he had to kill another to use it; this seems to almost kill his motivation for being there aside from rescuing the Black Pearl, which while logical, is not very compelling.

To cap it off, Sparrow leaves Angelica on an island alone, with a pistol containing only one shot, a particularly cruel fate for someone, apparently, merely mistrusts. Perhaps he mistrusts her throughout the film, but that really doesn't come off and this stranding seems very, very harsh, as if it's done solely to setup the gag after the credits.

Decent fun to sit through, as Depp's antics are still a pleasure to watch, but that's all you can expect from this one.

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