24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Pirates of the Caribbean [DVD] (DVD)
If you ever needed proof why you shouldn't listen to critics, the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, part 4 in the series, is it. Part 2 and part 3 received quite a thrashing from critics despite still cashing in pretty big at the box office. So, there's no reason why they would treat part 4 any different. But that's just it. It is different. Without Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, whom you won't even miss having in this film, you should expect a new storyline and new characters and that's exactly what you get. Barbossa and Gibbs are back, but other than Captain Jack, Jack the Monkey, and even a cameo from Jack's father (Keith Richards), you have a whole new cast of characters.
The film picks up with the same plot where the last one left off, with the Fountain of Youth being the focus. Captain Jack escapes the gallows with Gibbs only to discover someone is impersonating him and getting a crew together to go find the fountain. The imposter turns out to be Angelica Teach (Penelope Cruz), the daughter of Blackbeard (Ian McShane) who wants to find the fountain to save her father from a doomed prophecy.
Angelica and Jack apparently have a past love interest together and she tricks him into joining the crew because she knows he has the map and that he's been to the fountain. But to get the spell of the fountain to work, they'll have to collect certain items that are needed, including the tear of a mermaid. So, the movie becomes a race for Blackbeard's crew, the Spanish, and the English, to collect the items needed and get to the fountain first!
Blackbeard is a colorful and well played evil pirate. You can expect the same entertainment that you got from Davy Jones and Barbossa in the previous films. Cruz definitely holds her own in the cast of men. Depp is Jack through and through, prancing about and always cleverly escaping trouble. And Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa again is up to his old conniving tricks, undercover on the English side, despite having a peg leg now.
The movie provides lots of fast paced action mainly in the form of sword fights and doesn't rely heavily on special effects like the last film. And then there are the mermaids! The intense and evil beauties which provide a large part of entertainment in the middle of the film, and even a small romantic subplot that grabs your attention.
There's an equal amount of time spent on land and at sea, and although the movie had a slow start as it set up the plot, I would almost say this one was better than the last one. If you are a fan of the other films, you will definitely be entertained and think that this film is a great addition to the series.