Sunday, May 28, 2017

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Another episode of the pirate adventures takes Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and company to the Fountain of Youth. After the Spanish discover a map to the fountain, Jack is heard to be recruiting in London when in fact he is pretending to be a judge to help free his first mate Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin McNally). He escapes from the British troops and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and seeks out his imposter, discovering that it is Angelica (Penélope Cruz), a former lover. They are all seeking the Fountain of Youth and Jack wakes up in a ship headed that way while Barbossa recruits Joshamee after he burned the map.

Sparrow learns he's aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge captained by Edward Teach aka Blackbeard (Ian McShane) who can zombify his crew and is convinced he is the father of Angelica. Jack teams up with Scrum (Stephen Graham) who helpfully explains what is happening. Imprisoned on the ship is a religious man Philip (Sam Claflin) who refuses to fight. Jack tries to mutiny with the crew but Blackbeard puts an end to that quickly with magical powers controlling his ship. They head to Whitecap Bay to capture a mermaid for her tears. Blackbeard sends out a crew as bait to lure the mermaids who have sharp death and are quite deadly. Only through crafty maneuvers from Sparrow and luck by Philip do they capture a mermaid Syrena (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey).  

The British and Spanish are on the trail as Blackbeard's crew arrive at the Protected Cove under the guidance of Sparrow and his compass. Without the chalices, they can't move forward, so Jack is pushed off a waterfall to go find them. He encounters Barbossa on Ponce De Leon's old ship where they fight for the chest with the chalice only to find it empty. They find a map but learn that the Spanish are ahead of them. Blackbeard trick Syrena into believing the killed Philip so that they can coax a tear from her eye. It's only when Syrena finds that Philip has come back that they manage to capture a tear of Joy.

Barbossa and Jack sneak into the Spanish camp but are captured and tied up. They escape in classic fashion with trickery and insanity while drinking rum though the effects do not look quite as good in this film. They obtain the chalices and head deeper into the island finding a cave with Blackbeard. They travel up through a watery doorway and break out into a sword battle. The men fight until the Spanish arrive and destroy the chalices because they believe the sight is unholy. Barbossa stabs Blackbeard with a poisoned sword and Angelica is poisoned when she pulls the blade out.

Philip escapes during the fighting and frees Syrena. She brings the chalices back to Sparrow who tricks Blackbeard into killing himself to save Angelica. Syrena and Philip swim down into the depths together. Jack leaves Angelica on an abandoned island and rejoins Gibbs who has stolen the Black Pearl and the other ships Blackbeard had stashed in bottles. Barbossa acquires the Queen Anne's Revenge. This Rob Marshall sequel does not quite live up to the original series but is still enough fun to join the others. 

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