By Mad Noir



Did you enjoy the trailer, kids? I hope you did, since that is what you’ll wish you were watching.

It seemed like a dynamic, exciting journey with some elements (the mermaids, an ACTUAL pirate like Blackbeard…) that we haven’t seen in the other movies of the franchise, but alas, I was disappointed. I liked the first movie, but it all went downhill from there. This one promised me a well-deserved brake from that god awful William/Elizabeth couple and I really looked forward to it.

Basically, the point is that a bunch of factions are all out to find The Fountain of Youth and we are supposed to cheer for Jack to get there first, since the third movie ended with him heading there. And yet the only scene I found worth watching in this movie was at the very beginning when Jack Sparrow is running away from King George II’s palace. He jumps, he climbs, he runs away, wrecks everything in his path and stays the way we remember him from the previous movies.

And then we meet one of the bigger problems in this movie: Angelica, played by Penelope Cruz. She is… just completely useless. She is, like many others, a former lover of Jack Sparrow, as well as the daughter of Blackbeard, and is now stealing his job and identity. My main problem with her is that she is completely meaningless up until the very end when she is literally just used so Jack wouldn’t drink from the god damned Fountain. She is there just so we can have a woman in this movie. Also, at some point, Jack says he has feelings for her which I find unforgivable since I refuse to believe he could have FEELINGS for anybody.

Another problem is Blackbeard. Well, not so much Blackbeard as his hobbies and accessories. He has a sword. A MAGICAL sword. He uses it to control the ship (ropes, sails, so on) which is perfectly fine and quite cool. Problem? He never uses it. He demonstrates that power, but never really uses it. I guess it was lost somewhere in the ocean of plotlines. He also has a voodoo doll of Jack. Why? So he could make Jack find the Fountain for him. Question. Why, in God’s name, why, is Blackbeard suddenly a shaman? Voodoo priest? He shrinks conquered ships and puts them in bottles. How? Magic, I guess. Magic that he never uses, not even to save his own life!

Then we have the Fountain itself. It’s a whole ritual, like a quest with eleven million side quests required to finish it. You need a mermaid’s tear, which is incredibly hard to get, two chalices that are also magical and a sacrificial lamb to give you his or her remaining years.

And the factions after the Fountain. There are the English, the Spanish, Barbossa (who is actually after Blackbeard), Jack and Blackbeard. Blackbeard is so vaguely looked upon, that we only get the outlines of the character and yet he’s supposed to be the only real pirate here. The English and Spanish are so randomly placed there to heighten the tension that we don’t even know their leaders’ names and Jack is supposed to be really interested in the Fountain, but here it just seems like he was dragged there against his will.

On Stranger Tides was barely strange, more needlessly complicated. The visuals are nice, but it doesn’t really make up for the lack of real battles, pirates, or well-rounded characters.

And, despite all this, if you’ve watched the previous movies, watch this one too. If nothing else, it has nice music and pretty pictures to look at.

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