Most helpful positive review
Feels more like the original
on March 25, 2013
The Pirates of the Caribbean sequels felt forced, somehow, after the surprisingly entertaining Curse of the Black Pearl. They were too long, and lost some of the adventure somehow.
On Stranger Tides loses Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly, and you probably won't even notice. Depp is joined by Salma Hayek's less busty friend and Ian McShane, and naturally Geoffrey Rush is still around. As one single narrative the movie moves along at a fairly brisk pace, the corny humour is intact and the trademark music swells and exclaims when it should.
If it has a flaw it's that McShane almost feels underutilized and there is relatively little on-ship stuff - the majority of the movie takes place on land. There's also a painfully awkward mermaid story beat, but it doesn't account for an awful lot of screen time.