Tuesday 24 May 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) - Rob Marshall

It's clear that after four films in the Disney franchise, the creators are running out of ideas to keep this ship afloat.  This may be stranger tides, but it's an all too familiar tale.

On Stranger Tides is exactly what you'd expect from a Pirates film - tediously so - with a healthy dose of Indiana Jones mystery thrown in.  They may have removed the wet Bloom and Knightley from the cast, but nothing has been gained in the process.  The plot itself is relatively simple: various groups are after the Fountain of Youth, whether it be for the draw of eternal youth, or to stop those who desire it.  Yet the storytelling is so bad that the narrative feels more complex and confusing than it should.  Knowledge of the previous films isn't strictly necessary, but it may help.

As for Depp, his flouncing around as Captain Jack Sparrow has just become a parody of the original character.  This isn't helped by an appearance by Keith Richards - Depp's initial inspiration.  The mantra of "it's not so much the destination as much as the journey" - quoted by Sparrow - has been taken to heart by the filmakers.  The cast and crew clearly had a huge amount of fun making the film, but this doesn't transfer to the audience.  As expected, though, Hans Zimmer's music is superb and the excellent Rodrigo y Gabriela add a welcome spanish guitar twist. 

Amongst all this, the film is stolen by Dame Judi Dench in a ten second cameo towards the start.  Like the film itself, it's frivolous fun but ultimately unnecessary.  However, the next film is undoubtedly in the works - stay after the credits for a quick (though pointless) taster.

Still, at least the trailers included X-Men: First Class and the Harry Potter finale.  Expect reviews of those in the (very) near future.