This weekend Captain Jack Sparrow crosses paths with the enigmatic Angelica, he’s not sure if it’s love or if she’s a ruthless con artist who’s using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. She forces him aboard the “Queen Anne’s Revenge,” the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard, Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn’t know whom to fear more Blackbeard or Angelica, with whom he shares a mysterious past.
It’s fitting that this fourth instalment of the mega booty-hauling franchise revolves around a quest for the fountain of youth. Here’s a property that would give its right arm for some rejuvenation, having worn out its welcome last time round, way back in 2007. And having already paid an arm and a leg to persuade Johnny Depp to reprise his Jack Sparrow role, you wouldn’t imagine it had many more limbs to spare.
But the logic seems to be, if you’re splashing out on your star, you’d better make a splash with the rest of the movie. This splashes so much, its stranger tides almost drown it. It’s a succession of ever-escalating action sequences and grand settings. At first they’re stunning, then they’re routine, then they’re wearying. There is at least some new blood to power this rejuvenation exercise.
Depp is his usual mincing self but Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley have walked the plank when aboard clambers Penélope Cruz, as a duplicitous old flame of Jack’s. Being Cruz, she’s Spanish and feisty, and that’s about it. And fitting right in as the new villain of the piece is Ian McShane’s Blackbeard – a mystically powered captain whose orange, leathery complexion suggests he’s spent long years trapped in a tanning salon.
Throw in Geoffrey Rush’s Barbossa (now with a peg leg), and the British and Spanish navies, and you’ve got something close to a piratical wacky races. Everyone’s racing to get to the fountain of youth, negotiating perilous terrain and fantastical episodes and stitching each other up. The freshest new monsters are some vicious but seductive mermaids, which are rather cruelly hunted, slaughtered and tortured along the way. That could traumatise a few younger viewers but being just about the only other women in the movie apart from Cruz, it also suggests something more worrying beneath the light-hearted mateyness. Worse still, everyone else is so scheming and self-centred and double-crossing, it’s not always clear who to root for, who’s in cahoots with whom, or what anyone’s going to do if/when they actually find the sacred fountain.
Posted by admin Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This isn’t that surprising, only because we’ve known (and assumed) for years that Disney would go 3D on the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie. But Deadline says that Disney Chairman Rich Ross has approved the decision to shoot Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 3D this year. However, their article is so damn vacuous, I’m not actually sure they’re shooting in 3D, because they only state that it will be shot “in Disney Digital 3D.” That term, Disney Digital 3D, is used to describe their post-production conversion process, not to shoot in 3D, so I’m not really sure, but it’ll at least be 3D when it hits theaters.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides stars Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow again as well as Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as a mermaid. The story in this is based on Tim Powers’ book, which focuses heavily on the Fountain of Youth that was hinted at in the conclusion of At World’s End. Chicago and Nine director Rob Marshall is helming this fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film and shooting starts this summer, primarily in Hawaii. If it is indeed being shot from the start in 3D, then it should be pretty cool to watch in 3D. It’s still set for release on May 20th, 2011 next summer.