REVIEW: "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" (2011)

John Many Jars
John Many Jars's picture

For my birthday, my family and I went to dinner, and went to see a
movie. Dinner was nice, but it turned out the movie was Pirates of
the Caribbean IV.
I’ve seen some of the other ones, in some odd order, and wasn’t too
worried about it. The older ones I had seen didn’t make a great deal
of sense, but they were fun.
Apparently, the producers of this new movie had two goals, it had to
be cheap, and it had to make sense. Actually, they had a third goal…
it also had to be in 3d.
They succeeded at two of these three goals. It certainly was cheap,
especially considering Johnny Depp’s reported $55 million salary, it
looks cheaper still. I wouldn’t mention this except some eye candy
could have made up a little for the rest of this disaster.
Basically, this film is terrible. It is boring, derivative, tedious,
and poorly directed. In short, everything a sequel should be.
Everyone seemed bored and a bit tired of the whole thing. Even Depp’s
“innovative” mincing Keith Richards impression was tiring. You can
hang one movie on that performance, I guess, but not four.

The movie had to, make sense, and it did. Somehow, this was at the
cost of making this flick fun. The earlier films, although almost
entirely incoherent, were FUN, like a Disney theme park ride. This
one kind of made some sort of sense, but instead of a silly roller
coaster, it was more like the Bataan Death March of cinema. Fountain
of youth, goblets, island, prophecy – plot covered.
Next time, just show us Penélope Cruz’s breasts. Or the someone’s
breasts, so long as that someone isn’t Beth Ditto. At least that
would entertain us for a few minutes. I know it’s a Disney flick, but
I’m sure Walt would mind.

Ian McShane was adequate as Bluebeard.

This brings us to the third goal; the movie must be in 3d. This was,
perhaps, the worst thing about trying to watch this film. If you must
see it, do not pay extra to see it in 3d.
It makes no sense to film a 3d movie, when 90% of the scenes are shot
at night, even the ones that are supposed occur during the day. (Yes,
there is an Ed Wood moment when we switch from night to day
instantly). This film is dark, and many of the non action sequences
are shot in close up, at night, with a tight focus. For most of the
movie, you could remove your 3d glasses and not notice it was 3d,
because there was no 3d effect at all. In fact, this flick is so dark,
that was the only way you could see some scenes.

This flick has already taken in about half a BILLION dollars, which
has gone a long way towards destroying my already weak faith in
humanity. Sure, they got my money, but I have
to think some of that cash must be repeat business.


if you are determined to see this movie yourself a favour and
lobotomise yourself with a claw hammer first.
If they do another make another one, I want Jon Peters to produce.
Then, at least, Depp could fight a big mechanical spider! Or you
could simply project two hours of squirrels mating in a cage. In 3d.
In short, this film ruined my birthday. I want my two hours back.