Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pirates 4

On opening weekend, a group of us ignored the reviews and headed out to see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I've been considering for a while how to sum up my reactions to it, but now I have both an open blog day and a reasonable summary.

I had a pleasant time watching it. Johnny Depp chewed the scenery, and so did the other leads. Penelope Cruz was as Cruzalicious as ever. The plot was as sensible as in the earlier three films--which is to say, it was a thin layer of silliness on which the actors danced. All the things you've come to expect from this franchise--from the inevitable getaway-with-chase of Depp to the pirate scenes aboard ship--appeared and were competently rendered.

The problem, though, is that the film was exactly what you'd expect. At no point did I sense the smallest spark of originality. It's as if the producers and director and writers had outlined the previous films and then made sure this one contained one of every element they found.

So, if you don't mind your formulaic movie hewing so closely to the formula that at times you long for something new, or if a great cast and pretty darn good CG effects are enough to draw you into the story despite the formulaic nature of the movie, then you'll enjoy Pirates 4. Otherwise, give it a pass.

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