Latest Pirates tale a let-down
Barry C Chung
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise's foray into the 3D market is a bloated, sub par and unnecessarily dragged-out effort by first-time franchise director Rob Marshall.
A prophecy states that the notorious pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane) will meet his death in a fortnight's time. He sets sail for the Fountain of Youth in hopes of cheating fate; legend has it that a sip from the Fountain's water ensures eternal life.
Word spreads that Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) holds the map to the Fountain. He crosses paths with Angelica (Penelope Cruz), his love interest - and Blackbeard's daughter. He ends up a prisoner and guide on the ship to the Fountain.
The series that single-handedly repopularised the pirate genre has generally been decent. Sadly Stranger Tides is full of extras and subplots that weigh down the film. There's too much going on and too few laughs.
Someone should really check the official running time. It says 137 minutes, but feels more like four hours. The three sections of the film - set in London, on the ship and in the jungle - are long and slow. All the plot diversions converge at the end, but by that time, no one is really interested in the predictable grand finale. Who would have thought a Disney film would have bad guys lose, good guys win and a hint towards another chapter?
There's nothing here you haven't seen before. Pity.