Then the next generation came along, and they were nostalgic for westerns, and they started making them again. But no one was interested in making a pirate movie. It was a dead genre.
But wait! There in the distance an unholy trio appeared as if out of the mist. It was Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Johnny Depp making a movie, not based on "real events," a novel, or even a comic book, but ... a theme park ride?
Turns out that people (I) missed a bit of sword play, but was there anyone left in the film industry who knew any about it? Well, they figured out all of the details and turned out The Curse of the Black Pearl. That movie, in my humble opinion, is among the finest films ever made. In many ways it reminded me of Casablanca. There was high adventure, intrigue, exotic locale, great characters, comedy, with a dash of witty repartee, fantastic costumes, and sword fighting ... Mustn’t forget the sword play. Something, if I may note, that was missing from Casablanca.
Naturally, it was wildly successful, so there had to be sequels. On Stranger Tides is the fourth film in the franchise.
On Stranger Tides has a tough act to follow. I have high expectations. The Curse of the Black Pearl was perfection, and the last sequel, At World's End, was pretty darn good. How will this latest outing stack up?
I'm sorry to say that it left me wanting. To be fair, it wasn't a bad picture. I'd still recommend it. Great costumes, great sword fights, great chase scenes, but I thought that it lost some of its fun. The previous films in the franchise were hard to properly classify. This one I'd call straight Action/Adventure ... Even a well done Action/Adventure, but it didn't have the rare balance of so many elements.
If you want a good pirate film go see On Stranger Tides, but don't expect lightening in a bottle.