I've been very devoted to watching each Pirates of the Caribbean installation in theaters. This latest (and final) offering from the Disney franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (POTC 4), left me feeling a bit sad and disappointed. Hit the jump for the full review (spoilers follow).
I tried my best to think of reasons why POTC 4 fell flat. To be honest, this latest film actually put a real pirate into the film—Blackbeard. They did not disappoint. They made him a formidable villain. Not only could he control the ship's rigging using his sword, he could also raise the dead (zombies) and he was merciless. However, the usual suspects were missing. The welcome comedic relief of Pintel and Ragetti was completely missing as was Barbossa's pet monkey, Jack. I was glad to see Elizabeth Swan and William Turner gone, but it felt very strange without the usual bond of the crew.
Visually, the film was appealing. It kept with the look of the other films quite well though Jack Sparrow's hair seemed oddly lighter. The same swashbuckling music kept the POTC feel strong, but it did not change how strange the film was. The sudden appearance of Angelica and her relationship with Jack Sparrow felt forced and fake. I was hugely disappointed by the Spanish. Their whole point in the movie was so minimal that it was a bit ridiculous.
I suppose that in the end, there were a lot of ends—the priest and mermaid, Jack and Angelica, Blackbeard and Barbossa, the Spanish and the fountain, Gibbs and not dying—that came together with a fizzle. It was a decent movie, but definitely very disappointing. I guess that the age of the sequel is becoming played out. Maybe movie producers should go back to producing original films not based upon books, comics, or rides?
If you decide to watch this, I would suggest not paying the money for 3D. I watched it in regular vision and nothing seemed like 3D would have greatly improved it. At least go to the matinee show if you can.