Saturday, 28 January 2012

Pirates of the Caribbean IV On Stranger Tides

In some respects Pirates of the Carribbean On Stranger Tides is a similar kind of film also shown in 3D but again without helping to overcome the limitations of the basic formula. However whereas the Last Airbender was a moderate financial success grossing double its substantial expenditure the Pirates series had made fortunes in this instance taking over $1 billion at the box office costing between $150 million to £250 million. I think Johnny Depp is a fine actor but I cannot stand his approach as Captain Jack Sparrow.

The interest of young people in Treasure hunting and pirates was created by Treasure Island written by Robert Louis Stevenson, the Victorian author of Kidnapped, the Master of Ballantrae and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. There is also the story of Peter Pan J M Barrie with both books being made into the earliest of Pirate films in the 1920’s. Sea Hawk, Black Swan, The Spanish Main and Captain Kidd were released in the 1940’s and were part of my childhood. The genre came to the fore in the 1950’s with Treasure Island, The return to Treasure Island and Long John Silver, together with Hornblower, Moonfleet. The Crimson Pirate 1952 and Blackbeard the Pirate remembered.

1960’s saw the return of Blackbeard(Ghost) and the arrival of Captain Morgan and also of Captain Blood. Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island was made into a film and spawned various films and TV series. The Swiss Family Robinson was great hit and High Wind in Jamaica from one of the great books about the inner thoughts of child, There was another version of Treasure Island and with a major version again in the 1970’s when the genre seemed to go out of fashion. There were three versions of Treasure Island in the 1980’s and Yellow Beard. Peter Pan was Shipwrecked in the 90’s along with the Muppets who went too Treasure Island where there was also a made for TV series, Cuttroat Island was also notable.

The first three Pirates of the Caribbean appeared in the naughties along with Pirates 1 and Pirates 2 and Pirate Planet and as well Space Pirates although I cannot remember what year the film or the concept was born, There was also a contemporary version of Peter Pan and Master and Commander was a serious look at exploring the New worlds in the southern waters. So given this pedigree of adventuring the Caribbean series can be said to be high on visual trickery and with a 12 year certificate appears aimed at families who enjoy pantomimes where there is little genuine humour but shouting at the screen is to be commended.

The main story of the last epic which lasts 2 hours and 16 minutes is a search for the island location of the Fountain of Youth with three separate parties. The first is the Spanish with the aim of destroying the magical idolatry after a fisherman turns up in a net a man still alive carrying a notebook locating the Fountain. The second party is Captain Hector Barbossa Geoffrey Rush with the Kings Commission (Richard Griffiths) but whose aim is not the Fountain but his long term conflict with Blackbeared who on their last encounter took part of his leg. They have access to the shipmate of Captain Sparrow who steals his map in a complicated opening which follows the James Bond formula of a great action sequence to begin the proceedings. Hector is now a privateer and not a Pirate having lost the Black Peal. Jack’s beloved ship.

Jack is captured in London on behalf of the King after impersonating high court judge he has kidnapped to get his shipmate friend released. Judy Dench as a few seconds appearance in the opening. The King summons Jack on learning he is seeking a crew to go in search of the Fountain which the King does not want to fall into the hand sof the Spanish,

In fact Jacks not attempting to get a crew which he discovers is someone impersonating him who is none other than the gorgeous Penélope Cruz as the daughter of Blackbeard played by Ian McShane. She has a love hate relationship with Jack after he seduced from a convent she was to enter. Jack learns of her activities and whereabouts from his father played by Keith Richards no less who provides him a map and warns of the perils in store.

The story is that to benefit from the Fountain you have to put the water into one of two chalices together with tear from a Mermaid. In the films there are always computer generated creatures. In this instance bare back Mermaids who are a kind of sea vampire seducing sailors to their deaths within the ocean depths when it is alleged they provide food.

Jack is press ganged into service on Blackbeard’s vessel where Cruz is the first Mate and her father practices a kind of voodoo black magic which enables him to counter a successful mutiny take over led by Jack by converting ship’s ropes into snake like capturers. He also has a dangerous sword with powers of its own. On board there is a religious zealot who has been strung up by the yard arm because of his preaching and it he who manages to capture a mermaid alive and it is she who provides a tear( of Joy) when she finds he is alive after a fake throat cut to achieve the desire outcome.

There are many adventures, the finding of the Fountain and its destruction with at the end Jack admitting he loves Crux as she admits she loves him but he still leaves her castaway on a tiny atoll while he goes off to further adventuring. The young bible quoting Christian appears to live happy ever after in the depth with the rescued mermaid. Blackbeard has sacrificed himself after being poisoned by Barbossa and Cruz is also life threatened by removing the sword from the body of her father. Jack uses one chalice to save the life of Crux while Blackbeard is freed from the curse of physical being and turned instantly into a skeleton drinking from the other. Barbossa abandons the Kings Commission after the Spanish destroy the Fountain of Youth site to become a privateer.

Bluebeard has a collection of special ship‘s in bottles in a kind of safe on his ship. One of these is the Black Pearl. These are minaturized originals which can be brought back to life with the whole fleet of ships taken into Jack‘s custody at one point, just as well as the ship nd its crew is destroyed by a bevy of mermaids.

The money making will continue until Mr Depp gets bored.

No comments:

Post a Comment