Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

More like Pirates of the Meh-ribbean, am I right?

So Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It has Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, wibbling and wobbling and pointing at things and clanging swords against things and saying funny things. It has supernatural pirates and lots of CGI enhanced action. It was a fun two hours and some change.

Well, goodnight everybody!

Seriously, this is the most cut and dried blockbuster there is. It stands out because it completely doesn’t stand out. Is it bad? No, not at all. Is it really good? Well, no to that either. It just kind of is. You watch it. You laugh a few times. You are mildly thrilled. You leave. Maybe you get a refill of popcorn on your way out. Then its over. There is really nothing to either rant nor rave about. It just…is.

The basic plot of On Stranger Tides has wacky ol’ Captain Jack looking for the Fountain of Youth. Oh, and so are the Spanish. Oh, and so are the English, led by Geoffrey Rush’s Captain Hector Barbossa. Oh, so is Blackbeard and his daughter. Oh, by the way, Jack once had a thing with Blackbeard’s daughter. Oh, also, Blackbeard captured the Black Pearl from Barbossa and caused old Hector to chop his own leg off to escape. Yeah, like I said, its a Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Now we can all agree that things got a bit on the complicated side during the last Pirates movie, right? Betrayals and twists aplenty. But this one is fairly straight forward. Everyone wants the Fountain of Youth. Its a race there. Its kind of like Its A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, only with pirate ships. So that’s a plus the movie has going for it. The downside is that some of the players get little to no development. In the last movie everyone got enough screen time to explain their highly complicated back story and motivations for all the betrayals that they do. In this movie…okay, for example. Why are the Spanish there? After watching the movie I could have removed the Spanish from the plot completely and it would have made zero difference. You want another example? You slave driver you. Okay, there’s a priest that falls in love with a mermaid. Is this supposed to be the replacement for Will and Elizabeth? Because they get about fifteen minutes of screen time together and almost no development beyond, “Oh, they’re in love now!”


"I want to overact more!" "No, I want to overact more!" "Damn it you can both overact!" "And we will!"

Speaking of the mermaids, let’s talk about the mermaids! Like all the other Pirates movies, this one is filled with lots of supernatural sea bound scintillation. You think you know mermaids? These are not those mermaids. These bitches be vicious. Never before did I think I would ever use the phrase, “Horrifying mermaid attack.” But man, that was one horrifying mermaid attack. Bitches be flying everywhere, sea men were being downed…I think I should rephrase. But I won’t.

Oh, and Blackbeard has a touch of supernatural weirdness to him as well. Ian McShane really does a standout job at bringing this version of the legendary pirate to life. Not only does he have that cool thing where he lit fires in the tips of his beard (a thing the real Blackbeard did), but he has a magic sword that controls every bit of a ship, from wood to rigging, creating one of the creepiest visuals in the film. Oh, and he also has voodoo slaves for some reason. Oh, and also, he collects captured ships in tiny bottles. Again, its a Pirates movie.

But in the end, there’s really not a lot to talk about when it comes to this movie. Yes, the mermaid scene was pretty cool. Yes, Blackbeard is a pretty awesome villain, though not as awesome as Davy Jones. And yes, its nice to see Captain Jack back again. Nice. That might be the best word to summarize this movie. It isn’t fantastic. It isn’t terrible. Its just…nice. That is some nice entertainment there Pirates.


Lots more wacky hijinks with the Pirates of the Caribbean cast and crew is always good for a few hours of entertainment.Unfortunately, the schtick has gotten a little played by now. Its paint by numbers Pirates, neither good nor bad. Just...there. Passable, but not standout.
70 out of 100

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