Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides: Film #40 of Film 365

Saturday 4th June 2011

Director: Rob Marshall
Year: 2011
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penelope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally

I have been watching movies in the last few days... I just haven't had a chance to blog about them yet! So, here goes with the first of four:

I really wanted to see this. I also, however, felt some trepidation. Reviews were not overly positive, although friends who had seen it were a little more forgiving. Well, I'm glad I went in with trepidation... I wasn't expecting to enjoy the film massively, so I expect that added to my enjoyment. Within 10 minutes I was back in Pirates mode and perfectly happy...

That's not to say the film isn't flawed. It's not the masterpiece the first Pirates of the Caribbean is, but it still has Jack Sparrow (Depp), Barbossa (Rush) and others rifting off each other. The plot is pretty standard Pirates-type fare; no particularly disappointing moments there.

The problem is with the amount Depp is - and isn't- in the film. When he wasn't in it, I wished I was watching him. When he was in it, I was glad he was on screen but not feeling like he needed any more screen time. The problem here is that there is no Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) or Will Turner (Bloom), who appear in the first three movies. They grounded the movie and gave you somebody (dare I say it?) normal to care about. Pirates 4 tries to make up for this with a romance between Philip (Sam Claflin) and Syrena, a mermaid (Astrid Berges-Frisby), but it doesn't work. It's not given enough screen time, and the characters aren't given enough back story.

Still a fun ride, and if you enjoyed the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the likelihood is that nothing will stop you going to watch this. Enjoy it, but don't expect brilliance. I did enjoy it enough to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl again...

Rating: 4 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.