Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Movie Review-- Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides

I've seen Pirates of the Carribean 4: On Stranger Tides  twice now. I have to say I enjoyed it much more the second time around. This is due in part to the fact that once I'd seen how it differed from the first three movies, I could enjoy it on it's own merits. If you view it as a stand-apart feature from the first three, it's quite enjoyable, but if you try to compare it, it makes it a little harder.

Johnny Depp, of course, reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, the loveable, quirky pirate who always seems to find a way to get out of any situation. Captain Jack was still quirky, still funny, and still continued to surprise the audience with his ability to creatively improvise. One of the few complaints I had about the movie, after the first viewing, was the fact that Jack seemed to lack some of the “loony-ness” that attracted fans to him in the first three movies. During my second viewing, it occurred to me that his character could afford to be a little more on the “schizo” side in the earlier films because he had Will and Elizabeth to help him out and cover more of the straight-man role. Since Captain Jack was the main character in this installment, he didn't really have the luxury of being the zany sidekick.

I was also skeptical, on my first viewing, of how the directing was going to be. I was hugely fond of the fantastic job Gore Verbinski did in the first three films and wasn't sure if Rob Marshall could pull it off. Marshall is most known for his background as a choreographer in musical theater and did a fantastic job directing the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical, Chicago. It seemed quite a leap to go from musicals to action movies, especially such a beloved series such as Pirates. Again, when I judged it as a stand-apart film, I really thought Marshall did an amazing job.

I thought Penelope Cruz was fantastic and brought a rich, latin romanticism to the story. She and Depp had amazing on-screen chemistry. Kudos also go to Ian McShane, who played Blackbeard with a real subtlety that is often lost in big budget summer action movies. I have to give Marshall further directing credit on this point. The character could have very easily been overplayed, making him seem more cartoonish than scary. It was also fun to see a return of Captain Barbossa, surprising us once again with a twist in his loyalties.

All in all, it was a fun, entertaining movie that I feel very confident in recommending, especially if you have been a fan of the original three. If you are in any way a fan of Captain Jack or Johnny Depp, as well, this is a film not to be missed. It is full of plenty of twists, turns, and swashbuckling action. I definitely plan to add it to my DVD collection.

If you haven't seen it yet, don't wait. It's definitely worth the bucks to see it on the big screen. If you saw it once and weren't sure it lived up to your “Pirate” standards, I encourage you to give it another try, at least on DVD when it comes out in a few months.

Regardless of your opinion of the film, I promise you'll never look at mermaids the same way again... I know I won't!


Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

My husband saw it with my BIL. He said the mermaids were pretty intense. When I asked him if we could take the kids he said NO WAY. I'm dying to see it!

Mommy LaDy Club said...

Interesting! The last one turned me off a bit, just too overdone, but this one sounds more intriguing...thank you:) Great to meet you from VoiceBoks!

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