Wednesday, 8 June 2011
[Review] Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (3D)
There's no denying the visual aspects of this film are incredible. Rob Marshall loves his spectacular shots, and as with this, they are definitely something to gaze at. The ridiculously big fight scenes are choreographed so well you can only get caught up in them, helpfully passing the time in this relatively long film. The scenery shots are not to be argued with either. We're given those gorgeous sweeping establishing shots that identify the enormity of this film, and bring with it that exciting element of location shooting giving the film it's proper pirate feel. The effects with water are also flawless. It almost looks real as the Fountain of Youth starts crawling up walls and surrounding various pirates.
However, because of the extremity in situation, the shots become cluttered. There's so much going on in each scene it becomes hard to focus on one element of the film, leaving you to be immersed in an intense action film which can be quite daunting, especially if you're wearing 3D glasses as that's even more claustrophobic. This combination of shouting, gun shots, sword fighting and quick cuts makes it quite a stressful experience to sit through. But obviously, as these films have progressed, their budget has got bigger, meaning these supreme fight scenes are about as dramatic and outrageously far-fetched as they can be.
The storyline just seems to progress effortlessly leading the pirates from A to B without any sort of disruption. There's no plank walking or discovery of new places. The characters know where they're going and what they need to do. Although this makes the plot easier to follow than the previous 2 films, the mystery element is gone, losing it's magic. Because we've become so accustomed to the settings, there's not really much else we can find exciting. The only thing that's good is that it sticks to what works for the films. It's got the loud and familiar soundtrack, the good humour and the brilliant locations.
A great bonus to this film is Penelope Cruz. She's sexy, charming and charismatic - A great rival to Jack. Having a lead like this makes up for the loss of Keira Knightley, and brings with it a whole new light to females. Mermaids, which also play a focal point to the story, are surprisingly scary. Forget pirates that are really ghosts, one kiss from these evil bitches and you're done for. But, let's not forget why we all love (and apparently some hate) these films - Johnny Depp. He's everything you want him to be, but a little bit more tanned this time adding to his output of beauty. However, what's disappointing is that I think Geoffrey Rush has lost his bad guy appeal and become a commodity that brings all the films together - Controversial, I know.
So, how to sum my thoughts of this film? It's okay. If you enjoy the films you'll find it lightly entertaining, much like I did. The 3D element isn't necessary, as I find with most films. And there's also a short clip at the end. It doesn't add anything to the plot in my opinion, but if you're going to sit through the credits anyway, it's a nice way to end the film.
I wish I wrote him a letter...