The fourth installment of the Pirates franchise brings new life and a little more depth to the Capt. Jack Sparrow character zanily portrayed by Johnny Depp. I love watching Depp waltz through these movies as in a drunken haze. He is both wily and loopy deftly dancing across the ship’s deck and falling over obstacles yet always outfoxing the enemy at the last moment. He has met his match this time in the form of Penelope Cruz as Angelica, Blackbeard’s daughter, and Ian McShane as Blackbeard. We learn that Jack Sparrow and Angelica have a past and there might still be a spark underneath that rough Pirate’s veneer.
Penelope Cruz is both beautiful and brilliant as Capt. Sparrow’s adversary/former lover. Ian McShane is excellent playing the part of the heavy. He is formidable and dominates the screen with his presence whenever he appears. Geoffrey Rush is one of the few returning characters as Capt. Barbossa who is Jack’s sworn enemy. Who else but Rush, an excellent actor, could go from tutoring the king of England in The King’s Speech to fighting with pirates? There is also another cameo appearance by Keith Richards as Sparrow’s father who Depp says he patterned his character after.
For those who have not seen any of the previous Pirates movies, not to worry. This movie is a standalone and does not rely on previous knowledge of characters or incidents. For those who have followed the series, there is a warm sense of familiarity as in seeing old friends. Another plus is this movie is more character and story driven and relies less on special effects than those of the past.
For a good time with some crazy characters I highly recommend this movie. Who can resist warm sands, high tides, salty characters, and Johnny Depp? It ranks an A in my book.