After a journey of close to 1.5 hours, we reached the only IMAX screen in the city. The intent was clear- have the best screen with the best 3D effects to catch the latest in the Johnny Depp’s moolah-earning Pirates series. CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow returns with his old sidekick Mr. Gibbs and the foe-turned- ally-turned -it’s complicated partner in crime Hector Barbosa who has joined the English though it’s just a garb for his own motives. Their love-hate relation still persists and is on the lines of mutual admiration in this one. The cast replacements include Ian Mcshane as the fearsome Blackbeard and the Spanish pataka, Penelope Cruz as Angelica, Blackbeard’s daughter.
The direction has changed hands from Gore Verbinski to Rob Marshall and the result was evident. The last 2 pirates’ movies had too many complications for the simple popcorn munching audience though the franchise lovers would have thoroughly enjoyed them. This one, au contraire, keeps it very simple (predictable would be more suited) and leaves it mainly upon the actors to keep the screen rolling.
The plot is pretty straightforward. The English, the Spanish and Captain Blackbeard are on the hunt for a certain Fountain of Youth that provides the transfer of life from one person to another. While the English and the Spanish are occupied in the traditional European colonial rivalry, Blackbeard (menacing at start, not so much towards the end) needs the fountain to thwart the prophecy of his death. Jack and Angelica have had history and Jack still harbours “stirrings” for her. Angelica gets Jack onboard the Blackeard’s ship; Barbosa who has his personal vendetta against Blackbeard is joined by Mr. Gibbs and so begins the chase. The journey is peppered with a futile subplot of a tender relationship of a missionary and a mermaid which can be best described as a unsuccessful attempt to fill in the void of Will and Elizabeth’s characters from the previous movies.
As expected by many, it’s Jack’s odd ball eccentricities and odd-ball acts that keep the screen appealing though I sincerely missedhis trademark “You will always remember this as the day” line . Ian McShane’s Blackbeard is evil though it doesn’t top Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones. Keith Richards as Captain Teague provides a decent cameo. Penelope, visibly pregnant (though glowing) in many shots, has a likeable on screen chemistry with Depp and is quite the match for him like her character Angelica. The 3D hasn’t much to offer other than the mermaids sequence and little titbits here and there. Stay after the credits to watch what could be a possible sequel link. All in all, a good way to spend a weekend if you have nothing better to do.