Pirates 4: On Stranger Lands

Movies and Television
Depp and Cruz, Aren't Strangers Pirates of the Caribbean 4 © 2011 Walt Disney Pictures

And really, that was the problem. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was supposed to be the next tale of swashbuckling adventures of our favorite sea faring pirate, Jack Sparrow and company.

Sans seas it would appear.

Merry Olde Londontown backlot

First the setup: Jack does an escape of some kind with BFF Gibbs. In London, variouis raods and pubs and some version of Buckingham Palace.

At which point we pick up a few characters:

  1. Captain Barbossa now privatee in the King’s Navy.
  2. Penelope Cruz retconned as past flame of Jack’s, now a totally unconvincing pirate herself and maybe-spawn of:
  3. Blackbeard, played flatly by Ian McShane. I say flat because there was nothing interesting, surprising, overly menacing about him; nothing to explain his mystic fu control of his ship or why he’s evil other than he’s playing for Team Evil, which battles Team Good?

Who exactly are we supposed to cheer for?

The mission, allegedly a RACE – slowest dullest in history – is to get the Fountain of Youth first, armed with the exposited-to-Jack-on-a-silver-platter ritual protocols. Afoot:

  • Team Spain, who knows which side they’re on really.
  • Team Blackbeard, clearly bad but not all as many were pressed into service.
  • Team Barbossa, out for King and country but not really as you can tell he’s got his OWN agenda.
  • Team Jack, which as always, is about Team Jack.

Missing in Action

Mermaid and Preacher pose for Harlequin Romance Poster, copyright 2011 Disney
  • The action first of all. Every fight a non event, every death a red shirt, every escape a given. The only cool part of Pirates 4 was the mermaids, about the only thing having to do with the water.
  • Will and Elizabeth, pretty much anyone else in Dead Man’s Chest or Pirates: At World’s End. Can see why Bloom and Knightly passed on the script.

In their places are Handsome Preacher dude, who gets shirtless to help out a pretty young Mermaid. When I find myself not caring about the sword fights or Barbossa’s backstory with Blackbeard but instead want to watch these to attractive actors look at each other all moony, that’s some weaksauce.

Final Snark: On FINAL tides. Please.

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