There was hope the fourth film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise would be a chance for a fresh start. Freed from the shackles of the exposition-laden first two sequels, things looked in place to bring back the fun sense of adventure that turned the first into a modern blockbuster classic.
The reviews however for “On Stranger Tides” haven’t been so kind. Both on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, each subsequent film has dropped in estimation from the previous one and this is no different. On RT, ‘Tides’ scored 35% (5.1/10). In comparison the first film was 78% (7.1), the second 54% (6/10), and the third 45% (5.5/10). On Metacritic it scored 46/100, down from the original trilogy’s scores of 63, 53 and 50 respectively.
I finally got to see it a few hours ago and have to agree. Good actors and a decent premise are laid to waste by weak scripting and flawed direction from new to the franchise Rob Marshall. The convoluted, non-sensical ramblings of the last two films are just as present, but this notably lacks the ambition and edge of those films. The mermaid sequence is pretty good, but the few decent moments of comedy seem off-timed and the end result is just a bland feature that feels like a wasted opportunity.
That won’t slow down the box-office though. With the first film raking in two-thirds of a billion worldwide and the first two sequels pulling in around a billion dollars each, you can have no doubt that the only way anyone at Disney would be upset would be if this does under the tally of the first film. The studio wants a $100+ million opening weekend, but the $36 million haul on Friday indicates it may miss that mark. Internationally though the film is performing stronger than the studio expected – so there’s little doubt a fifth film will be on the way some time in the future.
Now comes the time for your say – did “On Stranger Tides” recapture the spirit of fun of the first film, or was it a waterlogged mess? Please leave your comments in the section below: