THAT was a disappointment. After Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley dragged the last two films down, I thought getting rid of them would make this instalment spectacular. I mean, more Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) can never be a bad thing can it? Well, actually, yes it can. Don’t get me wrong, Captain Jack is still the star but they’ve made Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) the more interesting character. I don’t know if it was intended that way or if it’s because Captain Jack hasn’t really grown as a character in the way Barbossa has but it definitely makes me want a Captain Barbossa film next.
The main story, as I’m sure you’re aware from the trailers, involves a quest to find the Fountain of Youth. After the opening scene, set in London, is over, the quest begins along the way, Captain Jack meets Blackbeard (played by “not as scary as he should be” Ian McShane) and his Daughter, Angelica (Penelope Cruz - much better than I was expecting her to be). I won’t go into details about how their paths cross but I will say that Angelica and Jack have a Love/Hate history.
Overall, the film is an improvement on the last two instalments but not as much as I would have hoped. The new director, Rob Marshall (Nine, Chicago) has over-choreographed the fight sequences. Every step is timed so well that it’s hard to believe any of it. In the past, Captain Jack’s crazy ideas worked because they were just that... Crazy. Here though, you clearly see the link between each action kind of like a marble run, always knowing where the ball is going next.
The visuals are stunning though. Especially the Mermaids, who are as beautiful as they are brutal. Their introduction was breathtaking. My only complaint was that the sequence was over too soon.
Once the mermaids have been introduced, the film loses its momentum and then kind of stumbles into the final act. I think a major part of this was the introduction of Syreena (a Mermaid) and Philip (a boring git) whose only purpose is to fill the gap left by Orlando and Keira.
Along the way, we are treated to some fun action and revelations. For instance, what happens to the Black Pearl and Keith Richards return as “Daddy” Sparrow were great but I still feel the film could have been better. Nay, SHOULD have been better.
The ending left a lot of loose ends (possibly to allow for further instalments) which was a terrible idea and left the film feeling unfinished.
A step up from the last two but not enough flare to warrant Disney and Depp setting sail together again.
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Would have been 5 but the Mermaids are truly brilliant)
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