‘Pirates’ 4 defies skeptics, but true audience lies in franchise fans

By Marina Diez

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At the beginning of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” a corpse found on a lost ship at sea suddenly jumps back to life. This rebirth is a perfect metaphor for the latest installment in the blockbuster series, released today.

The fourth Pirates movie features Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, as a new love interest for Captain Jack Sparrow. The movie, offered in 3D and IMAX, will hit theaters May 20. Photo courtesy www.moviecarpet.com.

After the third movie in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, it seemed like the writers had walked the creative plank.  Previous stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley decided not to return again, leaving audiences with a skeptical outlook on the success of this fourth installment without two of its biggest draws.

But the skepticism will vanish, as the movie features many dramatic action scenes akin to those in “Indiana Jones” and “The Mummy.”  “On Stranger Tides” will have you jumping in fear for Captain Jack’s safety, laughing at his drunken ways and staring at the mesmerizing action on screen.

The adventure begins when the English find out the Spanish are launching an expedition to destroy the Fountain of Youth. With false rumors circulating that Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is in London in search of a boat and a crew to reach the fountain, the English capture him in the hopes that he will cooperate with their newest privateer, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Jack escapes and goes off in search for the person who impersonated him, only to find Angelica (Penelope Cruz), the daughter of Blackbeard (Ian McShane), whose heart he had broken many years ago. As Jack awakes on Blackbeard’s ship, he finds himself stuck in the middle and in a race against time to find the Fountain of Youth.

Johnny Depp continues to shine as the cunning, but lovable, pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. His chemistry with Penelope Cruz is palpable on the screen and creates many hilariously awkward situations in the movie. The newest villain in the series, Blackbeard, will have you cringing at his cruelty, and Captain Barbossa will have you crying with laughter.

“On Stranger Tides” is a great summer movie for classic Pirates fans. Although it’s three hours long, and at times feels even longer, the movie is worth the time. In the words of Jack Sparrow, “It’s a pirate’s life for me.”

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