Here’s the thing about this franchise. I don’t even remember what had happened in the third movie. Not a thing. Well, actually I vaguely remembered the whirlpool battle scene, but I don’t remember who was Jack fighting on that scene. Or why. That’s how it was with this franchise. It would still rakes in a lot of money, sure, but unfortunately, this movie continues the trend from the previous movie. Convoluted, dull, and ultimately, utterly forgettable.
So, he’s back, of course. There won’t be any Pirates of the Caribbean movie without Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow after all, and most of you would still have faith on this franchise because of this particular feat anyway. Frankly, I don’t remember much about the plot of this movie even if I had wrote this review not an hour after watching it. Well, there’s obviously Captain Jack Sparrow, and Penelope Cruz’ character who is may or may not be his love interest, Captain Barbossa, Captain Blackbeard, ragtags-and-dispensable-no-need-to-be-named pirate crew, a mermaid, and a cleric. Oh, and there’s this Fountain of Youth involved. Which also, may or may not existed at all.
It’s still a fun movie to watch, given that you hadn’t bored with Jack Sparrow yet, that is. The purpose of this movie, as was the purpose of its immediate predecessor, was to sets a stage in order to get the action piece (mostly featuring Jack Sparrow) started, rinse, and repeat. However, I don’t find anything particularly memorable from these scenes. The circular cages under a wooden bridge, or the wheelbarrow duels, those were fun. Unfortunately those were in the previous movies and not in this one.
Can’t blame Johnny Depp to squeeze every bit of cash he could from this franchise while he still can. At the very least, if he was bored with his role, he kept it to himself and off the screen. Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane were underused, I love both actors, but this movie had reduced both into a mere one dimensional character. I had lost interest to both characters sometime during the second act.
But my biggest thorn is probably Penelope Cruz. Call me a picky, but I rarely, if ever, enjoyed a performance by a non-English speaking actors in an English speaking movie. Worse, I don’t think that her character warrant any merits at all. I don’t understand why she was there, or whether I could put through some, if not most, of her motivations passed the logical barrier that I had in mind. At some point, I might even felt a repulse toward her character. Whatever the reason, I’m sure the writers had intended so that her character would have some significance both in the movie’s plot-line and in her relationship with Captain Jack Sparrow. None of them was getting through, though. In the end, I could safely say that I rather missed Keira Knightley and her Elizabeth Swann.
I think this movie, in general, lacks a purpose. I couldn’t get any sense of anticipation that something big, something of significance, is about to happen. The movie grinds on a well oiled wheel, moving from action set-pieces to another, in an almost autonomous mode that soon, you’ll get what this film has to offer in a corner. It’s like playing a video game where you had to beat one boss after another, in a rather similar environment, and a rather similar difficulty. You’ll get enough of it after a short while.
All in all, it was another Pirates franchisee stuff. Sparrow still swagger, I still recognize the music, and it was at least, a redemption, some action scenes were pretty crafty, although none stands out to be remembered after the end credit rolls, and the rest were mediocre at best. Less convoluted than the third movie, yes, but still convoluted. I think I’ve had enough of this franchise, and I hope Mr.Depp does too.