Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth. But pirate captain Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter (Penelope Cruz) are after it too. What happens next? Read the review of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides for more.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Poster)Business rating: 2.5 stars

Star cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane

What’s Good: Johnny Depp’s performance; the exciting screenplay that is full of twists and turns; the beautiful mermaids.

What’s Bad: The less-than-brilliant story; the absence of high-octane sea-warfare.

Verdict: Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is an entertaining successor in the Pirates franchise.

Loo break: None.

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Watch or Not?: Watch for Johnny Depp’s performance and the interesting setting.

Walt Disney Pictures’ Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the fourth film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, based on the exploits of the brave, cunning and weird pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).

A ship-less Captain Jack Sparrow arrives in London to find that someone has been masquerading as him, using his name to put together a crew. After reuniting with his old mate, Gibbs (Kevin McNally), Sparrow shares his plan to go to the ‘fountain of youth’, using a map he has in his possession. However, Sparrow and Gibbs are soon apprehended by the King’s army. Sparrow is then handed over to the one-legged Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), the former pirate-turned-royal navy captain, who is Sparrow’s arch rival. Barbossa wants Sparrow to take him to the fountain of youth, so that he can make his King happy. The deft Sparrow manages to give Barbossa a miss, leaving Gibbs to fend for himself.

Soon, Sparrow also finds out that Angelina (Penelope Cruz), his former girlfriend, was the one impersonating him. Angelina, who is putting together a ship crew for her father, the dreaded pirate, Blackbeard (Ian McShane), also plans to find the fountain of youth in order to avoid her father’s imminent death. She deceives Sparrow into believing that he will be made captain after her father’s death. However, Sparrow has plans of his own. He makes a failed attempt to orchestrate a mutiny on Blackbeard’s ship, which is foiled by Blackbeard’s magic powers. Now, Sparrow has no choice but to lead Blackbeard and Angelina to the fountain.

In the meantime, Barbossa, guided by Gibbs, also sets out for the fountain of youth. There are also the Spaniards, who have set out on the same sea voyage. All four teams will have to face many obstacles before they can reach the fountain of youth. What is really the fountain of youth? Who manages to reach it first? What about Jack Sparrow’s dream of owning a ship again? What happens to his relationship with Angelina? The rest of the film answers these questions.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review (Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Stills)
Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Movie Stills

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review – Script Analysis

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is different from the previous ‘Pirates’ films because of two reasons – (i) it no longer has the characters of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, and (ii) it gives the typical Pirates style sea-fights a miss. As a result, the action quotient goes a few notches below. However, this loss is more than compensated by Jack Sparrow and Angelina’s excellently choreographed sword-fight and the mermaid–attack sequence.

Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio’s script, loosely based on the novel, On Stranger Tides, by Tim Powers, is entertaining and engaging. As most of the characters (including the famous Jack Sparrow and the cunning Barbossa) are the same, the introduction of new ones (the evil Blackbeard and his zombie ship crew and the beautiful but murderous mermaids) keeps the viewer engrossed. The narrative is fast. However, the pre-climax, where the priest tries to help the captured mermaid, seems contrived.

Sparrow’s antics and the climax are engaging. The film will be liked by fans of the franchise, but will also be understood by others who haven’t seen the earlier films.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review – Performances & Direction

Johnny Depp is endearing as Captain Jack Sparrow, a wonderful character that Depp has carved out with a fine performance. Penelope Cruz adds to the glam quotient of the film and even does some stunts. Geoffrey Rush is good as usual. Ian McShane, Kevin McNally, Sam Claflin (as the priest), Astrid Berges-Frisbey (as the mermaid) and Stephen Graham (as Scrum) support well.

Rob Marshall’s direction deserves full marks, considering the fact that the script of the film is not as plot-driven as the previous films. By portraying the voyage in a brief but fun-filled manner and by creating engaging action sequences, Marshall manages to hold the viewers’ attention throughout the drama. Hans Zimmer’s signature Pirates background score sets the pace of the film. Dariusz Wolski’s cinematography is nice, especially in the action sequences. Editing, by David Brenner, Michael Kahn and Wyatt Smith, is good.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review – Verdict

On the whole, ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ is an entertaining fare. It will do good business in urban India, where the Pirates is already a big brand.

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