Sunday, 22 May 2011

118, Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides

Instalment number 4.  For those who have started losing count it all began back in 2003 with The Curse of the Black Pearl, then in 06 & 07, Depp had back to back releases with Dead Mans Chest and At Worlds End until we find ourselves in 2011 with Stranger Tides.

There are notable unfamiliarity's, the sad losing of original cast members Bloom & Knightly in my eyes are greatly missed but with Sparrow, Barbossa & Gibbs all in attendance and the great additions of Ian McShane, Penelope Cruz & Stephen Graham as Blackbeard, Angelica & Scrum with a cracking 30 second cameo from Dame Judy. D leads to a pretty impressive cast listing, even without our much missed British double act.

So where are we - well, there is no mention of Bloom & Knightly to start, Barbossa has switched sides to the British Navy and Sparrow is still without the Pearl, taken from Barbossa by Blackbeard.  Sparrow is in London and hears that he is supposed to be collecting a crew to seek for the fountain of youth - an apparent impostor! on investigation he discovers that its old flame Angelica (Cruz) pretending to be the wayward captain, working on behalf of daddy dearest, Blackbeard himself.

Everyone meets up and Blackbeard, The Navy and a gaggle of Spaniards all race to find the fountain of youth by the way of collecting some Goblets and a Mermaids tear.  Sorted - Ahoy me Hearty's!!

I love a good pirate movie - the first three had me in stitches with laughter at Sparrows antics and the colour and settings of the Caribbean always make the dullest, rainiest days seem a joy to behold.  I was a little worried out Knightly's departure - she always bought something demure to being a pirate but Cruz manages to take over quite seamlessly, a pirate from early on she carries the charm and charisma of any of her male compatriots and manages to make a name for herself in this very male environment.

McShane as Blackbeard manages to balance evil with a small touch of mercy brilliantly and has always been destined to play this role - even since the early days as Lovejoy!  Barbossa is his normal craggy self, now minus a leg and Scragg, the new chatty pirate played by Stephen Graham (Tommy from Snatch) is as dumber a pirate as you could have hoped for.

The mermaids are tantalisingly graceful but there is not an "Ariel" in sight as these ladies of the deep are as deadly as they are beautiful and the collection of a single tear proves harder than you may believe.  But not all is lost, as you will see - they are not all like it!

There is no real plot spoiler here - its a road movie on boats with swords and as with the previous three its Johnny Depp who steals the limelight.  Depp is again amazing and I believe he truly loves this role, maybe above all others.  He IS Jack Sparrow.  Cunning, devious, funny, witty, charming & deadly, a lovable rogue.  And he continues to get better and better with each outing.

Its a good 2hrs this one and being a 12A there are some jumpy bits - We saw it in 2D but no matter - the cinema was still full and although you could tell the bits that would have jumped out at you it was a joy to behold as much without the specs as I am sure it would have been with them.

I might wait to see if there is a Fifth on the way in the next few years but if not - then the box set might be a great little investment.  There has not been a pirate franchise like this before and there probably never will be again - Not a bad word.  Loved it.

See this if..........................................You're partial to a bottle of Rum!