Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (a.k.a. Pirates 4)

Pirates 4 is what it is what it is: Two-plus hours of swashbuckling hijinks on the high seas with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) – and a bunch of other people – including franchise newbie Penelope Cruz as Angelica, a mysterious woman from Jack’s past.

Sure, there’s some sort of story in there about an international race to find the elusive Fountain of Youth, and to capture the tears of a mermaid, and to dig up two special silver cups to drink it all from. But the plot, such as it is, doesn’t seem to matter much. After all, the whole action-adventure franchise was inspired by a ride at Disneyland. It’s the ride that keeps on ridin’…

The movie is basically just another opportunity for Depp to step back into the boots of what’s become a strangely iconic (and often entertaining) character with an effeminate swagger and lots of guyliner. Aye, matey, it’s a pirate’s life indeed for Captain Jack and his legions of fans – many of whom came to the theater dressed in full pirate regalia.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides feels like a retread, except it was shot in 3D this time- so more stuff comes at ya than ever before! It isn’t a bad movie – there’s just nothing particularly good or fresh about it. The same might be said for Pirates 2 and 3, and yet, they made hundreds of millions of dollars.  So regardless of where this one falls in terms of franchise fan faves, I’m willing to bet the box office booty will be sufficient for the studios to get crackin’ on number 5. The door was certainly left open for that.

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