'Pirates of the Caribbean 4' Review: Should It Walk the Plank?

Sally Mercedes

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 movie stilIt's hard to believe, but Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is already the fourth movie in the franchise starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. This time around, the beautiful (and then pregnant) Penelope Cruz is by his side as Angelica. There's also a new director steering, Rob Marshall of Chicago. Can the fresh blood bring new life to this series? Or is the ship sinking and taking everyone down with it?

Reviews for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides may have the answer ...

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times:

"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" is about what you'd expect. It is long, expensive, and bombastic, and the beautiful mermaid has a tantalizing way of not coming quite far enough out of the water. For me, it's too much of a muchness.

David Edwards, The Daily Mirror:

With that are-we-nearly-there-yet? running time, Pirates 4 offers convincing proof this franchise has lost its sea legs.

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:

But way before midpoint, Pirates 4 is infected with the repetitive action and blathering incoherence that scuttled its predecessors. Marshall deserves props for putting the "show" back into the Pirates business. But face it, he's polishing a giant turd.

Michael Philips, Chicago Tribune:

[T]he first two of the three outings directed by Gore Verbinski had flashes of excitement, and you wait in vain in "Pirates 4" for a set piece such as the inventive, sprightly hamster-wheel slapstick routine in the second film. [...] while the pre-sold global fan base will likely make it a hit, I wonder how many in that audience will feel cheated. Or just bored.

As Philips points out, this isn't the type of movie where reviews matter all that much. It's a silly, fun, family-friendly movie with Johnny Depp as our favorite eye candy. The fan base is big enough and enthusiastic enough where they'll go watch it no matter what.

That said, maybe it's about time they kill the series. I have to be honest, I haven't watched any since the first one, but I haven't exactly heard great things about the others. Of course, word on the street is there may already be another one in the works, and they do make a boatload of money, so why on earth would they listen to those pesky reviews? I guess all we can do is hope the fifth installment -- if there is one -- has more to offer.

Do you love the Pirates franchise? Are you watching Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides this weekend?


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