Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

It is fitting what goes for a plot in “Pirates Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” includes a quest for the Fountain of Youth. This movie, the fourth in a series that made its improbable and profitable leap from the amusement park to the multiplex, represents an attempt to rejuvenate a flagging franchise.

Whether the effort was completely necessary is both an obvious and a naive question. Why would the Walt Disney Company, which distributes this movie, and Jerry Bruckheimer, who produce them, ever want to leave well enough alone? In Hollywood, unwarranted excess – not necessity – is the mother of invention.

Not that “On Stranger Tides” is particularly imaginative. Gore Verbinski, who directed the first three portions with wanton vitality, rococo visual flair and a flagrant disregard for narrative coherence, has been replaced by Rob Marshall, who has some expertise in turning well loved pieces of mainstream art (“Chicago,” “Diaries of a Geisha,” “Nine”) into tedious, literal-minded prestige movies. So while this photo is called “On Stranger Tides”, it is by far the least strange of all the “Pirates” episodes so far, with none of the cartoonish exuberance or creepy-crawly effects that made its predecessors irregularly delightful.

Mr. Verbinski, whose sensibility owes more to the mischievous, anarchic Warner Brothers and MGM drawing of the 1940s and ‘50s than to the Disney convention, made an effective move to out and out activity with “Rango”, which included Johnny Depp as a reptile out of the water. Mr. Depp, returning as Jack Sparrow in “Tides”, is especially in his watery, fiendish component, and he demonstrates outstanding polished skill in a task that regularly appears to be more similar to a stone band get –together visit than a blockbuster movie spin-off.

A ton of the first cast individuals and unique visitor stars have fallen away – Keith Richards appears for a moment or two, less thrillingly than the last time – however, the folks in advance are still fit as a fiddle, and a couple of more old clocks have been enlisted from somewhere else to include their prepared cleaves.

Richards Griffiths has a meaty, wiggy cameo as King George, and Judi Dench appears briefly as a lady in a carriage, yet the movie belongs to the power trio of Mr. Depp, Geoffrey Rush (as his sometime nemesis Barbossa) and Ian McShane, who brings floridly sinister death-metal-meets – “Deadwood” vibe to the role of Blackbeard.

Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom are not really missed, as the filmmakers – Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio are the credited screenwriters – wisely turn the movie over to the unpleasant supporting players. There are a couple of young people in love, one of them a missionary (Sam Claflin), the other a mermaid (Astrid Berg├Ęs-Frisbey), however, their wooing is incidental to the mugging and roaring and occasional swordplay among Sparrow, Blackbeard, and Barbossa. It’s almost as if a “Harry Potter” movie had dispensed with Harry. Ron and Hermione and devoted itself to documenting a meeting of the Hogwarts faculty.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). Some fantasy-horror violence.

Written by Sukanya Roy
Artist, Critic, Writer, Photographer, Movie buff, Graphic Designer, Literature and Geography enthusiast, Soccer fan, and Imaginative.

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