“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” Keeps the Series Dour and Lifeless

“At the end of Dead Man’s Chest, the second of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films, we saw Jack Sparrow and his ship, the Black Pearl, sucked down into the dark depths of the sea by a Kraken. It was a fitting metaphor, because by the second film, the franchise had evolved from a clanging, frantic bit of buccaneer nonsense played at full volume to a dismal and stygian story of zombies and curses that Johnny Depp’s mincing, staggering Sparrow was increasingly unable to leaven with even a few moments of antic mugging. The third film, At World’s End, was a leaden and dank piece of work that took most of its plot cues from its swampy, salt-rotted art direction, and when the final credits rolled it was a relief to think that it was all over.”

By Rick McGinnis

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