In the fourth installment of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean- On Stranger Tides not only has Captain Jack Sparrow returned for another swashbuckling adventure, but I, Shanna Wilson, your faithful movie reviewer and friend, actually broke down and saw her first 3D movie ever. Was it worth the extra three dollars and keeping popcorn butter off the glasses? Absolutely, this movie was made to be seen in 3D, allowing you to feel like you are an extra standing on set. Maybe I am naïve to be excited about what most people consider a pitiful gimmick to raise ticket prices; but I think there are some movies are enhanced by the third dimension. On Stranger Tides is full of action and special shots that draw you in and put you in the action. Sitting at the dining table with Jack and the King of England, swimming with mermaids, and gallivanting on the Queen Anne’s Revenge all turn this movie into a kind of theme park ride! Imagine that! For the fourth installment of the Pirates franchise Jerry Bruckheimer (National Treasure, CSI Series) returns to produce and with this new adventure also comes a new director to the series Rob Marshall (Chicago, Nine). This producer, known for his explosion filled style, and this director, who originally started out as a choreographer create a potent and perfect mix for On Stranger Tides.
Coming along for this new chapter in Jack Sparrow’s life is a set of all new characters as well, though there are a few familiar faces. For those who saw At World’s End will remember that Captain Hector Barbossa, played by the incomparable Geoffrey Rush, set sail with the Black Pearl, map in hand, to find the illusive Fountain of Youth; and not to be out done, Jack set sail in the same direction after stealing a part of the map. The movie picks up a little while later with Jack hearing that someone is recruiting a crew in his good name to find the Fountain. Little does Jack know that his old flame Angelica, played by the ravishing Penelope Cruz is helping the infamous Blackbeard, find the Fountain of Youth to help stall his own death. Blackbeard, played by Ian McShane, is the nastiest villain Jack has yet to come across. The captain of the Queen Anne’s Revenge practices black magic and the art of voodoo and he has an eery command of his ship and its officers who are all zombies, once men whom Blackbeard brought back to life to serve him. Nothing will stop Blackbeard from reaching the Fountain, not even the Spanish which are just ahead of him in his pursuit, or Captain Hector Barbossa (now working for the King of England) who is just behind him.
There are a lot of big budget names in this film who all do an amazing job, but there are some new faces who will steal your heart. Newcomer Sam Claflin plays a young priest who Angelica has brought with her on the trip to help protect against the voodoo of Blackbeard. He is a true follower of Christ and finds himself the lone voice of reason at times. To unlock the Fountain of Youth a mermaid is needed, sirens of the sea these beautiful creatures are a sort of flesh eating vampire who beckon sailors to their death. The one unlucky mermaid named Serena, played by Astrid Berges-Frisbey is captured and forced to help Blackbeard. The young priest and mermaid find themselves protecting each other and an unlikely romance begins. Of course you could not have a Pirates of the Caribbean movie without the incomparable and irresistible Captain Jack Sparrow played by Johnny Depp. Depp continues to prove that this Oscar-nominated character is one of his best by far of his entire career. The amazing special effects through out the movie are jaw-dropping and amazing. Putting everything together, On Stranger Tides is the perfect follow-up to the first three films and I cannot wait to see if there will be a fifth. And as always with every Pirates film, you’ve got to stick around until after the credits. Hint, Hint!