Is it time for Jack Sparrow to sail off into the sunset?
After seeing the fourth installment in Disney‘s “Pirates of the Caribbean” mega-franchise, Los Angeles Times film critic Betsy Sharkey writes in her review that Johnny Depp‘s kooky pirate charm keeps “On Stranger Tides” afloat, but the film is “not seaworthy, nor Sparrow worthy, for that matter.”
Sharkey gives props to a few sparkling moments, including creepy mermaids and a cameo by the Rolling Stone‘s Keith Richards, but said that despite Oscar-nominated director Rob Marshall‘s efforts at the helm, overall, the movie lacks fun. Sharkey blames a bloated, overly complicated plot and bizarre production design. “Now if all that sounds like a promising place to work a lot of 3-D magic, then boy are you in for a major letdown,” Sharkey writes. “The Ds in this instance stand for dark and dismal and disastrously claustrophobic.” Here’s an excerpt of her review:
At least director Gore Verbinski, who launched the enchanting whimsy of the first “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” in 2003 — only to be upended by the rough waters so often churned up by sequels and threequels — had the good sense to make an exit before completely running aground.
There are some amusements in “Tides,” which is ever so slightly better than its predecessor. Particularly grand is a whiz-bang early number that evokes that brief, shining moment when the franchise was first riding high. It involves Capt. Jack, a hanging offense, a double-cross, a pasty monarch with a pastry buffet (both abundant) and a king-sized dining hall filled with chandeliers and staircases just made for swordplay and foul play. It helps get things off to a fast start.
The newest shipmates include Penélope Cruz as Angelica, a former lover of Capt. Jack whose paterfamilias is none other than the villainous Blackbeard, Ian McShane doing his witty wicked thing. She’s a lethal beauty who has a winning way with a rapier but suffers far worse battles with the bad lighting, which can be the only explanation for the fact that Cruz looks more sullen than sultry most of the time.
You can read the rest of the review here. And we’d love to know what you thought of the movie. Let us know in the comments.
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