Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

May 20, 2011

Choppy waters

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 11:07 pm

May 20, 2011

Cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Sam Claflin, Astrid Berges-Frisbey

Director: Rob Marshall

In an early scene in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Judi Dench makes an uncredited cameo as a British aristocrat in a horse carriage, whose ear Jack Sparrow nuzzles mischievously before taking off on a new adventure. Clearly disappointed from getting less than she’d hoped for, she asks: “Is that it?” Good question, and one that you find yourself asking at the end of this underwhelming fourth installment of the Disney franchise that clocks in at an excruciating 2 hours and 16 minutes.

A far cry from the first film, a swashbuckling adventure that was irreverent and inventive in equal measure, this fourth outing feels like a cynical rehash of the old formula. So Johnny Depp puts on the eyeliner once again to play mad pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, but the actor appears to have dialed down some of the character’s flamboyant histrionics as he embarks on a quest to locate – of all things – the Fountain of Youth. How appropriate, considering this film itself could do with a healthy shot of rejuvenation.

Franchise regulars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley don’t return for this new episode, but in their place we have pretty newcomers Sam Claflin as a Christian missionary and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as a lovelorn mermaid lending the film its romantic subplot. Also joining the cast is Penelope Cruz as Angelica, an old flame of Jack’s, and daughter of the fearsome Captain Blackbeard (played by Ian McShane) who is desperately seeking out the Fountain so he can protect himself from impending death. Meanwhile, Geoffrey Rush mysteriously returns as Captain Barbossa, now with one wooden leg, who has joined the British side as they race against the Spanish in their hunt for the Fountain.

The only scenes worth recommending in this film are a handful of the action sequences, especially a mermaid attack that is nicely done. Since much of the story unfolds at night, watching the film in 3D only makes the images look darker than they already are. ((pause)) Helmed by Chicago director Rob Marshall who takes over from franchise regular Gore Verbinski, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is an average film at best, and one that will no doubt come as a disappointment to those who’ve embraced the series. It has neither tension nor urgency, it’s well mounted and occasionally stunning to look at. But the fun and the energy is so badly missing.

I’m going with two out of five for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Brace yourself before stepping into these choppy waters.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. agreeable..from the starting only..since the trailer was released u could make out the energy was missing….pirates 4 came as a disappointment to me too cos i was looking forward to it badly…the movie has been carried on well by rush,depp,cruz but there is not story..no logic…the spanish travel all the way down to the fountain of youth just to say that god is the only provider of eternal life…thats dumb…the mermaid scene was yes very well shot…i liked penelope and depp’s chemistry in the movie….and i hope there is a 5th part coming where the old friends return cos there was a jewel box that angelica tells jack about that can rule the seas…though the franchise has delivered well but this movie according to me was the most boring and dumb of all 4..no combination for its third installment,…now i hope transformers 3 does not turn out like this…

    tushar riddle..

    Comment by tushar — May 21, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  2. mvie is realy nice wit plenty of actn sequences with so much fun and entertainment dan the previous 3rd and 1st mvies in da pirates series bt nt dan da deadmanschest i agree.bt dis is a fantastic mvie without any borng scenes xcept the climax…

    Comment by murali — May 21, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

  3. its very disappointment…. its like treasure hunting elements with a blend of some pirates characters..

    Comment by bhavin — May 22, 2011 @ 9:14 am

  4. Anks Movie Review: “Pirates Of Carribean: On Stranger Tides” (2/5) – Well this is not my type of movie though I follow wide varieties of movie genre. Not interesting, looked stretched…at one point of time I felt, why don’t they bloody find the Fountain so that I can go home. Watch only if you fan of this series….

    Comment by Ankesh — May 23, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  5. i wud give (3.5/5)..As here in nagpur the theatre where i saw i.e SMRUTI talkies it was a great fun..Peolple loved Depp as if he is SALMAAN of america………

    Comment by rohit — May 24, 2011 @ 10:19 am

  6. well to put it simply “the movie sucks”

    Comment by shaju — May 24, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

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