Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the 2011 followup to the 2007 film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End. So far it's the last one they've put out in the series. Apparently Dead Men Tell No Tales is still in development, and is slated for a 2017/16 release. So that's kind of odd. Yeah, it took four years to get this one out but come on! What's going on there?
Anyways, the story follows Jack, having escaped death twice in the last film attempting to find a way to get his ship back from his mutinous first mate, Barbossa. So far so Curse of the Black Pearl, right? Well it gets pretty different pretty fast. Jack runs into his old "friend" after saving his current first mate, Gibbs from execution. Barbossa's now a privateer, having joined the Kings service after losing a leg and The Black Pearl. So Jack finagles his way out of trouble again, with the trademark action and humor we've come to expect out of the series. He runs into his father, who's reprised by Keith Richards from the last movie. He elaborates on something that the king brought up, that someone's been impersonating Jack and is putting together a crew for a ship. So Jack decides to check it out and finds that someone is imitating his fighting style, code of dress (If you can call it that) and general all around Jack-ness.
After some more cool fighting we find out that it's a girl played by Penelope Cruz. Angelica, an old friend of Jack's has been attempting to bring Jack out of hiding.
So far so good. Nice to watch at least. Nothing really to complain about.
So Jack wakes up on a ship as a crew member, and according to the crew Blackbeard owns it.
Jack decides to stage a mutiny because he figures there's no way it could really be Blackbeard's ship, and find out it is the hard way.
Angelica is apparently Blackbeard's daughter and she's using that to manipulate him into helping her find The Fountain of Youth. Which is something Jack has been looking for. And he may or may not know where it is. So Jack runs into a new sidekick during the mutiny, Phillip Swift, a former Catholic priest who is about as sensible as Will Turner when it comes to how noble he is. That's pretty much where the similarities end, because while he's devoted to goodness, he's not as willing to take up the blade and cannon to defend what's right and good.
So Blackbeard forces Jack to find the way to the fountain, in addition to finding Jaun Ponce de Leon's ship, which contains some silver cups they need for the ritual.
In the meantime, Barbossa attempts and fails to execute Jack's first mate, Joshamee Gibbs. Gibbs forces Barbossa to take him along on their voyage to find the fountain of youth, since he's the only one (Aside from Jack) who knows where everything on the map leads to.
Blackbeard sends some of the mutineers out to bait some Mermaids, because apparently they need mermaid tears to complete the ritual.
During the conflict, one of the mermaids gets trapped in a shallow pool saving Phillip from being crushed by a falling mast. Blackbeard captures her and hauls her through the jungle.
So Jack meets up with Barbossa and finds that the chalices are missing. Apparently the Spanish Church has beaten them to the punch in search of the chalices.
So Jack and Barbossa team up to get the chalices from the Spanish encampment and are captured, but Jack manages to get them free and they abscond with the cups.
Blackbeard, having noticed that Phillip and the mermaid care for each other decides to torture Phillip to get the mermaids tear. Phillip is left for dead, but returns to free the maiden, but is recaptured as she starts shedding tears of joy at his return.
Jack leads Blackbeard and company to the fountain, but Barbossa's crew and the Spanish show up with two different agendas. The ensuing battle leaves Barbossa with The Queen Anne's Revenge and the Fountain of Youth destroyed. Jack leaves Angelica on an island and returns to the Fountain with Gibbs, hatching a plan to get the Pearl seaworthy again.
So all in all, it's a good movie. A nice return to the swift straightforwardness of the first two movies after the massive climax of At Worlds End. So I suppose that I liked it. After the massively disappointing hype-train that was The Expendables almost anything looks good though....
So Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides gets a 9.8* rating. I'll see you next week with Chronicle!