Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Reviewed

Captain Jack is back! Johnny Depp returns to his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the 4th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. This time is a new adventure, new uncharted seas and a new supporting cast.

The Plot

Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself crossing paths with the enigmatic Angelica (Penélope Cruz), 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.

When she forces him aboard the "Queen Anne's Revenge," the ship of the legendary pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane), 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 with.

Geoffrey Rush returns as the vengeful Captain Hector Barbossa and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jack's longtime comrade Joshamee Gibbs, plus Sam Claflin as a stalwart missionary and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as a mysterious mermaid.

The Verdict

Critics often say that milking the franchise might be bad and they should have left it at part 3 as sequels don't usually do as well as the first one.

However with On Stranger Tides, we have one of those rare situations where it is proven otherwise. In fact after watching this, I would say that part 4 should have been the part 2.

New Supporting Cast

On Stranger Tides sees the departure of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley after At Worlds End. It was shown after the credits, that the family reunited with their son to close the chapter of their story. Many wondered after that if there would be enough star power to attract movie goers to the franchise for one more outing.

Enter the pirate Blackbeard played by Ian McShane and his beautiful first mate and daughter Angelica who is played by Penelope Cruz. With Cruz acting as the love interest of Sparrow and McShane as the dreaded pirates all pirates fear, I actually forgot who Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann were.

Even characters like the missionary Philip played by Sam Claflin and the beautiful Astrid Berges-Frisbey who played the mermaid Syrena (who definitely charmed this reviewer the minute she appeared on screen) fitted well into the whole storyline. Add in the lovable crew of the Queen Anne's Revenge (Blackbeard's ship) and especially Stephen Graham who plays Scrum and you have a well selected mix of ingredients to satisfy any movie goers appetite. And Pirates fans definitely will not be disappointed.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It is just so hard not to give this movie a good rating with its witty lines, many twists and turns in the storyline plus Johnny Depp's excellent portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow. The only minor eye brow raisers were some continuity issues and the use of 3D as it can darken some of the scenes like the ones at night.

Of course there is always the newly opened IMAX theater at Lido which some say might make the 3D experience a whole lot better. Do check back here at POPCulture Online on 25 May for our June issue with coverage of the grand opening of the all new Lido Theatres.

Oh and with the past few Pirates movies, do stay back after the credits for a little something extra.

Photos courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Singapore

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