Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Where do you start with a cinema experience like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides? Most conversations start with talk of Johnny Depp’s stratospheric pay packet or the departure of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, or maybe the arrival of Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane. Then there are those that just voice disbelief that this franchise is still being made after they basically ran out of good ideas following the first film. The bottom line with things like this is money and as long as enough people pay to see these films, they will continue to be made.

Presented in the now almost obligatory 3D, this latest instalment is a rather strange cinema experience. Its story line (about finding the fountain of youth) is a little more coherent than the last two efforts and the addition of PG Mermaids (Disney does a masterful job of showing no nippleage) adds some character but the charms of Depp and company are wearing a little thin and the script gives them so few moments to shine.

The film has the epic adventure feel of an older age when an audience would put the time and effort into following a long and arduous story arch but with such a high powered cast, it’s more than a little odd that they are given so few moments to charm the audience.

Taken as a whole, On Stranger Tides has some appeal as its production values are high and it always feels like money but the human element is given short shift and a cast that can deliver so much more ends up being given so little to work with.
Rob Hudson

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