Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides be the most inconsequential film in the franchise, says I. Honestly, apart from Pirates of the Caribbean being one of Disney’s most profitable franchises, no one was asking for a fourth outing. At World’s End was clearly a conclusion and Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley were definitely done. Well since Captain Jack Sparrow was always the star of the trilogy, Johnny Depp is the only one held captive by it. Geoffrey Rush and Kevin McNally return too as Captain Barbossa and Gibbs respectively.
Despite a far more reduced scale and thankfully a much lower runtime, On Stranger Tides somehow managed to be the most expensive movie ever made (even after 4 Avengers movies). This is the only installment based on an existing work. The title comes from a 1987 book of the same name. The only thing they kept was the real life villain Blackbeard, mermaids, and the search for the Fountain of Youth. The only thing that was alluded to in the previous film. On Stranger Tides focuses entirely on Depp just doing his thing as the beloved Pirate. He’s enlisted by the King of England to find the aforementioned Fountain before the Spanish Navy does.
We also discover that Barbossa is now a straightlaced British Navy officer with one leg. Plus there’s a Jack Sparrow imposter running around who happens to be a former lover of his. Penélope Cruz plays the new female lead as Angelica. A fierce Pirate who happens to be Blackbeard’s daughter. I’m not saying Ian McShane’s Blackbeard isn’t an intimidating antagonist, he’s just a bit underwhelming after Davy Jones. He’s given yet another cursed crew of zombies this time. While he also possesses voodoo dolls (see post-credits scene) and the Queen Anne’s Revenge that he controls with a magic sword. The Black Pearl is also trapped in a bottle along with Jack the monkey.
At this point it feels like ideas are just being thrown together. And I haven’t even gotten to the sexy mermaids that lure men then eat them. In Will and Elizabeth’s absence, less memorable discount versions take their place. As it’s a hunky missionary and a beautiful mermaid that fall in love. Long story short, a mermaid tear, two chalisies, and a victim are needed to complete the Fountain ritual. With plenty of swashbuckling action and witty remarks along the way. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is an unnecessary detour that gives fans exactly what we enjoy. “Savvy.”