Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Year of Release: 2011
Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin, Astride Berges-Frisbey, Richard Griffiths, Stephen Graham, Damian O'Hare, Keith Richards
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

The new "Pirates of the Caribbean" marks a depart in the hugely successful franchise: for the first time there's a plot that actually makes sense as opposed to gratuitous special effects that serve absolutely no purpose. The film introduces Captain Jack Sparrow in a situation where he has to save a friend from being hanged - Jack flees a possible capture, but ends up having to go with the malefic Blackbeard in pursuit of the famed Fountain of Youth. There are of course adversaries on his track, namely his old enemy Captain Barbossa and the Spanish Armada. It's up to Jack, this time with the help of an old love interest, Angelica, to outcome his enemies and get back to his old ship, the Black Pearl.
Rob Marshall, a director mostly known for his musicals (he has directed both the academy award winning "Chicago" and more recently "Nine"), has wisely chosen, to let the characters be the main driving point for the film. Whereas both "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" from Gore Verbinski, were hugely successful, the films were in itself mediocre, with plots that went nowhere, where the special effects overly compensated for an absolute lack of direction. Marshall creates an adventure film that owes and breathes from Michael Curtiz's  "Captain Blood": a film that is an action-adventure with humor and over the top characters. Johnny Depp continues to reign as Jack Sparrow. The character has become like a second skin for him, and he has plenty of fun with it. Penelope Cruz is as usual beautiful and intense, and Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush are fantastic. This is a good entertaining film worth checking out.