Captain Jack Sparrow gets carried away On Stranger Tides (2011)
Strange is the key element and from the start we find things are at odds. A strange man caught up in a fisherman’s net, Gibbs is being accused of being the Cap’n and it seems there is another Jack Sparrow out there somewhere.
It’s an odd adrenaline rush.
Johnny Depp reprises his role as the captivating pirate captain who is now without a ship; his beloved Black Pearl had been taken by Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush), and Jack is out to save his first mate Joshamee Gibbs (Kevin R. McNally) in London who has been accused to be Jack Sparrow.
However, things get a bit confusing when they are kidnapped by King George (Richard Griffiths) and later by Angelica (Penélope Cruz), the daughter of the notorious Blackbeard (Ian McShane), who forces Jack to lead an expedition to the Fountain of Youth.
The film is full of wit and adventure. However, too much focus has been placed on Jack’s seemly random actions destroying the surprise of a well spun yarn. This can be seen when Jack, in the King’s palace, seemly moves a chair and then careless drops a napkin behind it. The close up camera angles give prominence to this objects and why later become apparent when he escapes. Of course, the surprise is no longer there.
Fortunately, the plot, although being a bit old, is cleverly written and the visual effects are stunning especially the mermaids’ scene. It makes me wish this level of technology employed was around for Splash; the first ever film release by Disney under the Touchstone label because of its nude scene. It also launched Tom Hank’s colorful screen presence.
The quest for the Fountain of Youth is a perilous one riddled with old enemies, new friends, blood thirsty mermaids, zombies and the Spanish who are also in the race for the fountain. Fortunately, Jack has been there before (has he?) and knows the way. It also makes you wonder where else he has been or what he knows.
The ending was not what I had expected although the reasons become clear when you think about it. I also got a sense that Jack’s adventures are far from over. My only wish is that Depp continue his role if there is another film to be made.