Monday, 6 June 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

UK Release: 18th May 2011
Watched in IMAX 3D Cinema: Sunday 29th May 2011
Rating: 12A
Genre: Action. Adventure, Fantasy
Runtime: 2hrs 16mins
IMDb Plot Summary: Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) crosses paths with a woman from his past (Cruz), and he's not sure if it's love -- or if she's a ruthless con artist who's using him to find the fabled Fountain of Youth. When she forces him aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (McShane), Jack finds himself on an unexpected adventure in which he doesn't know who to fear more: Blackbeard or the woman from his past.

My Review: I didn’t have many preconceptions about this film which I think helped a lot. But the biggest thing that made me love seeing this film is that it was my first IMAX cinema experience. It was incredible and if you have never seen an IMAX film then I urge you to see one as it changes completely the viewing experience. You’re so fully immersed in the film - the screen is ridiculously huge, basically the size of a four or five-storey building. So the excitement and the amazing quality really helped. But if the film wasn’t any good then no matter how many effects or how big the screen it wouldn’t have been as good an experience. I think this film was the perfect introduction to IMAX - a big blockbuster, a spectacle of fantastic effects, beautiful locations and an epic adventure that we’ve come to expect with Pirates of the Caribbean films. The evil mermaids were brilliant and were actually pretty scary. They were one of the highlights of the film and I those few scenes were shot wonderfully. 
There were a few issues. We weren’t given explanations for things like the Zombies or Blackbeard’s mystery powers. It felt a little rushed and unrealistic. I know it’s a fantasy film but it needs a little more grounding in reality, like consequences for actions, for it to be more than a pirate romp. It was a little lacking of emotions despite the supposed history and chemistry between Jack Sparrow and Angelica, Penelope Cruz’s character there wasn’t much of a development between them.
The only real ‘romance’ was between one of the mermaids, Syrena and a missionary called Philip. They were clearly meant to be the duplicate Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley characters. Those expecting that were obviously disappointed. Instead it was a much more innocent, sweeter plot-thread that gave a little release from the many action scenes.
Overall, the whole experience was better than expected and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I disagree with critics saying it’s not as good as previous films. Sure, it doesn’t match the epic first film, but very few films can. I think it was a much simpler film, full of fun twists that keeps the whole family entertained. And it definitely succeeded in that. 
Score: 8/10

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