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‘Pirates 4’ gets back to its roots

June 1, 2011 - Pam Rodgers
I am a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Ever since I saw the first movie in theaters, I have been hooked. So I was excited that it did so well that Disney decided to make a second and third movie. While I like the second and third attempts, it never quite lived up to the greatness of the the first film.

Dead Man’s Chest (Pirates 2) was good, but I knew it was going to be a “set-up” movie going in and those have never been my favorite kinds of movies. At World’s End (Pirates 3) had the potential to be epic, and while I enjoyed ... most of it, I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the end result.

The third movie was filled with twists and turns with this character betraying that character every five seconds that it became too complicated to follow the first time you watched it. The third movie is the one I went to in the theaters the most partly so I could try and figure it out completely. Now that I have had a lot of time to reflect on it, I find the third movie to be poor story telling. They tried to fit so much into one film that it just didn’t work.

Then when it was announced that Pirates 4 was in the works, I was a little skeptical, especially because it seemed like several new characters were being brought into the story. I like Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, but I was disappointed that Will and Elizabeth (Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly) weren’t going to be in the fourth movie.

The more I read about it, the more excited I became. I went to On Stranger Tides with my family in 3-D, and I thoroughly enjoyed it (Not sure 3-D was necessary but it some of the effects were cool). It was a much simpilar plot line (not a bad thing) and was filled with all things that made Pirates my favorite movie to begin with. It still didn’t top the first movie (I’m not sure they can), but it is worth watching.

I missed the Will and Elizabeth elements; however, the creators and writers did a good job introducing new characters to the story. As I mentioned before, it was the one thing I was really concerned about, but it all made sense in the end. Jack Sparrow was a pirate long before he sailed into Port Royal and crossed paths with Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner. So it makes sense when in the fourth movie, you can bring in other people from Jack’s past. Penelope Cruz's character knows Jack from years ago. We don’t get their whole history, but we get enough to see the connection. It was well played by both Depp and Cruz.

A redeeming factor for At World’s End, was that the final sequence set up the plot for the fourth installment perfectly: The search for the Fountain of Youth. Rob Marshall did a wonderful job directing (the first three were directed by Gore Verbinski). The writers were the same so all the returning characters had the same feel to them, and the plot was interesting and easy to follow. The movie wasn’t without its twists and turns but it was done in a logical, less herky-jerky way.

Cap’n Jack is back and you should go see him in action! Oh and stay until after the credits. If this movie does well enough to make a Pirates 5, it could be interesting to see what they do with that “final” scene.


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