Sunday, 25 October 2020
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Sunday, 22 May 2011 16:08
On Stranger TidesNo one, including Johnny Depp himself could have ever predicted that his portrayal of roguish pirate Captain Jack Sparrow would have proved to be one of the most recognizable and iconic characters in movie history. No one’s fooling themselves that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is high art exactly, but one thing is certain, Depp’s Captain Jack is what makes the franchise the success that it is.

On Stranger Tides is the fourth installment in the series, and the first not to feature Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom in their recurring roles as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. Their absence is barely noted amongst a cast that includes Geoffrey Rush returning as peg-legged Barbossa, Ian McShane as Blackbeard, and the addition of a feisty Penelope Cruz as Angelica. The real star of the show of course is Depp, who brings Jack back with gleeful abandon as he finds himself thrown from one predicament to another and escapes them all with endless creativity.

Captain Jack and AngelicaThis time ‘round, Jack finds himself roped into a quest for the Fountain of Youth, captive aboard Blackbeard’s ship and tormented by his former lover Angelica, who happens to be Blackbeard’s daughter. Of course there is a fair bit of danger and opportunities for swashbuckling swordfights along the way, not the least of which is a spectacular scene involving a group of mermaids – who prove to be some of the most dangerous foe Sparrow’s ever come up against!

Sparrow and Blackbeard facing offAs usual the art direction, costumes and special effects in this fourth Pirates movie are spectacular. The story is decent and the great characters kept my interest throughout the film. Depp is just as entertaining as always, and there seem to be endless ways to explore the character of Captain Jack. My one complaint is that at almost 2 hours and 20 minutes, On Stranger Tides gets to be a little long in the golden tooth. It would have benefited from a good 30 minute trim, including a love story between a mermaid and a man that was completely useless and tacked on.

On Stranger Tides won’t disappoint fans of the franchise and I liked it more than 2007’s mostly forgettable installment, At World’s End.


Directed by Rob Marshall, Starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush.

Penelope Cruze was actually pregnant during filming. She now has a son with actor Javier Bardem.

This is the first Pirates movie not directed by Gore Verbinski.