Pirates of the Caribbean 4 “On Stranger Tides”

If you have seen the previous three pirates movies, you will know the last one faded off with Jack searching for the fountain of youth. Well, he is back, and the fountain of youth is desired by more than just Jack… the english, spaniards, barbossa, angelina (daughter of blackbeard and past love of Jack’s) and the dreaded blackbeard are also in search of this legendary spring. The ships are cast off, the alliances are made, and the quest for eternal life has begun. During this quest you will see mermaids, zombies, and the incredible story writing with many of the unexpected twists we have come to expect from the Pirates series.

If you are wanting to see another incredible Jack Sparrow story, you won’t be disappointed. But while the stranger tides bring stranger quests… there is a disturbing darkening of the waters as the film progresses….

Things I liked

 In this movie, there is a missionary, captured by blackbeard, to provide protection from God on their journey. While this man in abused, ridiculed, hurt throughout the entire movie. He remains true to his God, and is the only honorable character in the movie. He makes many sacrifices so the captured mermaid survives, and is the only one who treats her as a person, not an animal. His worldview is flawed at times, and solid in others. I was pleasantly surprised to see a “religious” person in a film to be shown as a person of good character and values. Standing up for what he believes, and respected for it.

Things I Didn’t Like

 It seems in all movies now there is an expected level of relational, violent, and language content. The previous pirates films had all of these things, but in moderation. Of all the pirates films this one is by far the most sensual, violent, and crude in terms of language. I was sorely disappointed by the amount of junk Disney and the new director put into this movie. Mainly, the relationship between Jack and Angelina. There is hardly a line between them without a suggestive move, word, or look. They dance, on the ground at times, and the entire time neither will commit to the other. It is a most disturbing relationship between them, and made to look like comedy to an unsuspecting viewer. The past relationship between Elizabeth and William is a beautiful one compared to the one presented in this movie. The “relationship” is the most killer part of the movie in my opinion.

Be warned however, this is not the only place Disney has raised the desensitization bar.

The violent content in Stranger Tides was like none I had ever seen before in the past pirates films. No longer is death a horrid thing we should be disheartened at (even in war) but a thing to be laughed at and not taken seriously. Men, standing up for their country, are shot and made to look like fools. Blood is brought into this film, along with a small amount of gore… The swordplay is no longer lighthearted and humorous as we saw in dead man’s chest, but a deadly spar with the intent of death.

Mermaids are not the innocent girls we find in the little mermaid, but deadly killers who feast on human flesh. One scene there is a battle and many men find their deaths being drowned, bashed, clawed, or bitten by these beautiful and seemingly innocent creatures.

Language such as b—–d, b—h, d—-t, are brought into the movie with the likes of blackbeard and angelina.

There is vodoo in the movie, as used by blackbeard, there is little used, but is present nonetheless.

Back to the Mermaids real quick… They are newcomers to the pirates scene, for reasons I can’t tell you without ruining the story. However, one mermaid is captured and when it is out of water… has legs… and no clothes… nothing that would give it an “R” rating is shown by the camera, but there is a considerable and inappropriate amount of skin seen by the viewers, even after the missionary “clothes” her but placing his shirt around her, there is still, throughout the rest of the film, a large portion of body shown.

Closing Thoughts

 To be honest, I enjoyed the story and adventure of the quest to find the fountain of youth. the ending is very satisfying (which surprised me), and the characters are… in character.

However, the new light (or lack of) disney has cast this most recent addition of the pirates series left me with a feeling of discomfort and unease. My conscience was stricken after I watched this movie.

Clearly, as with many movies of this nature, there is an underlying purpose of desensitization to death, morals, and relationships. Little by little, bit by bit, Pirates has descended from a ruthless comedic adventure to a disturbingly dark quest.

  1. ‘Tis a shame, because it sounds like the adventure could be quite fun…

    • Cassandra Rhoden
    • September 12th, 2012

    I watched the first half of this movie and then turned it off. Honestly, I didn’t want it to ruin my opinion of the first three films so I couldn’t bring myself to even finish watching the film. This review is spot-on and it is my opinion that Stranger Tides is much darker, sensual, and violent than the previous trilogy. Very disappointing.

    This film certainly is a much stranger tide when compared to the humorous and swashbuckling beginning to the series. 😦

    • Austin Harrison
    • September 12th, 2012

    Good to hear some consensus, as a lot of people balk at the suggestion this was not as good as the previous films. We have emotional connections to Jack Sparrow and the series, so it is hard to disagree with something we have enjoyed so much over the years.

    There is a 5th on in the works, with the original director, so I have hope that it will be better than this one, which used a different director. We will see if that one is any better.

    Thanks for the comments!

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