Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Johnny Depp Stars in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Johnny Depp Stars in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'

Article excerpt

In search of the Fountain of Youth, Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow embarks on another adventure in 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.'

Since I am still recovering from "Pirates of the Caribbean: At

World's End" - is it over yet? - I can't say I was much in

the mood for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." On the

other hand, there was no place to go but up - way up - and so I

can cheerfully report that I only glanced at my watch about 20 times,

as opposed to 200 times for its predecessor.

Part of the reason for this, however, may be because this new

installment in the unceasing "Pirates" franchise is in 3-D, and

wearing those glasses makes it's much more difficult to look at

your watch.

In a pleasant change of pace, this sequel isn't altogether

incomprehensible. I could actually follow the story, such as it is;

in fact, I was often one step ahead of the story. There are few

shocks to the system here. Even the "surprise" appearance of

Keith Richards, as the scurvy father of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack

Sparrow, has already been hyped to death in the advance press.

Richards is no less welcome for that. Depp is on record as crediting

the rocker as the model for Jack's tottering body language, and

seeing the two of them together, each trying to outdo the other's

wigginess, is blissfully funny. Plus Richards has the best line in

the movie. There aren't all that many good ones.

Rob Marshall, who previously directed "Chicago" and "Nine,"

appears to have approached "Pirates" as a species of musical,

minus the musical numbers. The sword fights and mutinies and all the

rest of the yo-ho-ho-ing are choreographed to the max. He keeps

things moving without turning the film into a perpetual-motion

machine on steroids. (I wasn't kidding. Is "At World's End"

over yet?)

The plot centers on the search for the fabled Fountain of Youth.

This is a search many people of a certain age (i.e., over 30) in

Hollywood are already quite familiar with. …

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