Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

03/20/2020 06:11

Film: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Year: 2011

Director: Rob Marshall

Writer: Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane



This film took me awhile to finally watch. It had been on DVD for some time and I really liked the original trilogy that it was continuing on the story with. I also really like some of the actors here so that helped as well. This review was also written quite a while go, probably 6 years and I’m just now posting it. The synopsis is Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter are after it too.

We begin with some fishermen bringing their net in. When they do, they find a man in it. They take him to the Spanish king. They are looking for the Fountain of Youth and this man seems to know where it is. The king sends Óscar Jaenada after it.

We then shift to a man in a cell who everyone believes to be Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s removed and taken into a courtroom. It turns out that it is really Gibbs (Kevin McNally). He is on trial for piracy. When the chief justice comes in, this turns out to be Jack Sparrow. He convicts Gibbs of not being him and orders him to serve the rest of his life in the Tower of London. Jack gets in with Gibbs as they head for the Tower. On the way there, he learns that Jack is getting a crew together, but he doesn’t even have a ship.

Things don’t work out as he plans. Jack is taken to a room where he is chained to a chair. He is then given an audience with King George (Richard Griffiths). He wants to find the Fountain of Youth, much like his Spanish counterparts. He has heard that Jack has a map to it and that he is getting a crew ready to go. When this rumor doesn’t seem to be true, King George believes him to be an imposter. He then calls in a privateer that he is sending after it, who turns out to be Barbossa. Jack has been removed from his chains and Barbossa tells the king that he needs to be back in them. King George of course doesn’t think he’s capable of escape. He is wrong and that is what Jack does. We also learn that Barbossa works for the crown due to losing the Black Pearl.

Jack has to be creative to get away and with the help of his father, Captain Teague (Keith Richards). He takes Jack to the crew that he is supposed to be getting ready and hints about the Fountain of Youth needing two chalices to make work. He then disappears.

Jack then has a run in with someone that turns out to be Angelica (Penélope Cruz). During this he is also hiring a crew that already seems to be hired by him. Jack gets knocked out and wakes up on the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the dreaded ship of the pirate Blackbeard.

I have to say that I did enjoy this film. I was a little leery coming in, because I really like the original trilogy and didn’t know how they could go on. Something strikes me in how they been able to continue, is the ability to continue to add mythology of the sea into their movies. I don’t know a lot, but I do recognize certain names like Blackbeard, Queen Anne’s Revenge and this also is using a classic myth in the Fountain of Youth. Here they did come up with a few ideas and brought them together which works.

Playing on that as well, I liked that this film plays up the lore of the mythic Fountain of Youth. I don’t know much about mermaids, which are something that appears in the film. One of which Syrena (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) and if they are supposed to be like they are in the film, but I liked the idea of them being monsters. I also liked that Blackbeard used ‘zombies’ as his officers. He uses voodoo to create them so he can control them. There are other things with voodoo in this as well.

The acting across the board is solid. Depp and Rush are just two actors that really become these roles. I know that Depp has talent, but we don’t always necessarily see it. Rush on the other hand is just great in everything I’ve ever seen him in. I also liked adding Cruz here. It’s smart to have a solid female lead like her and being that they’re incorporating the Spanish, that makes a lot of sense. I really liked McShane as Blackbeard. He played the notorious pirate well and I think a lot of that just goes to his screen presence. Plus we have McNally, Stephen Graham, Richards and Griffiths among others to round this out for what was needed.

My biggest problem is that this is a Disney film and concept. Since it all started with a ride at their amusement parks. I would really have loved to see what could be made of this if it wasn’t restricted with being teenager friendly. With that said though, I digress. It is still paced in a way that despite its 136 hour runtime, it never really gets boring. It is just entertaining.

This film is being added to the horror film research due to a lot of the elements. Pirates, voodoo zombies and mermaids that kill men to drink the blood are all things that can be scary. Actually the mermaids reminded me a lot of vampires to be honest. The Pirates of the Caribbean films have used horror film elements throughout, which I like and they are still family friendly even with using them.

I would recommend seeing this film if you like The Pirates of the Caribbean films. This one just continues to add to the storyline and this one is quite enjoyable. It has really good acting across the board, the story is solid and the only drawback is that it is done by Disney. This does make it friendly for families. It is a fun film with horror film aspects that isn’t scary at all.


My Rating: 7 out of 10