FILM REVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
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At one point in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) slurs that "it's not the destination that's the main thing. It's the journey." If that journey is a voyage into the oceanic depths of tedium then, Johnny, you've hit the nail on the head. Forget having your timbers shivered, Pirates 4 barely makes a ripple in the water. But before we begin this dreary adventure, let's have a look at how we got to this point. The Curse of the Black Pearl, although half an hour too long, was an enjoyable romp with enough wit and swordplay to keep the whole family entertained. It also established Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, the endlessly camp Cap'n of the Black Pearl and part-time Keith Richards impersonator, mincing out of trouble at every turn. By the end of Dead Man's Chest, however, Jack had overstayed his welcome and At World's End was a nonsensical mess. But with a worldwide gross of over $2billion, it was perhaps inevitable that Captain Jack would eventually return. Picking up where At World's End marooned us, On Stranger Tides' plot essentially involves a race to the fountain of youth - with a lot of faffing about before anyone gets there. The film opens with an utterly superfluous pirate trial in London. A concealed figure is led to the docks where, it's presumed, he will be tried and hanged. It's not Sparrow though. It's actually Gibbs (Kevin McNally) from the previous films who has somehow been mistaken for his old chum. No matter, Sparrow has, by some unlikely fluke, impersonated the judge who will be holding the trial and finds Gibbs guilty of being innocent of being Jack Sparrow. Savvy? No, me neither. And things don't become any clearer.
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