Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

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(2011) ★★

BBC3: Saturday 3 October, 9.40pm

Johnny Depp’s Cap’n Jack sets his battered hat on finding the fabled fountain of youth and his heart on taming convent-girl con artist Penélope Cruz. Does he finish either job in just one more bite of the blockbusting Disney franchise? Let’s put it this way: much of the ballast from the previous two entries has been profitably jettisoned, but it remains far from smooth sailing.

We were all a lot younger when this fishy mermaids-from-the-mists saga started. Frying tonight! But with rum characters like Ian McShane’s ruthless Blackbeard (“If I don’t kill someone from time to time, they forget who I am”) and Geoffrey Rush’s legless Barbossa knocking about in irrelevant 3D, it’s not a dull ride exactly. Just long and exhausting.

The immaculate production design is unfailingly sumptuous, a balm to the eyes (in goggle-free 2D, at least); a shame no one thought to put similar effort into the cheerfully clichéd script. This barrel’s not quite been scraped yet, but it’s sailing mighty close to a dry heave. The funniest line wasn’t even in the film. “You know, Johnny can wear a torn T-shirt and a bit of jewellery and look cool,” said Geoffrey Rush. “If I do that, I look like my mother.” 

Certificate: 12

Duration: 137min

IMDB – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

TMDB – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Rotten Tomatoes – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Other Showings Time & Date
BBC1 London Saturday, 10 October at 11:00PM
BBC1 Northern Ireland Saturday, 10 October at 11:00PM
BBC1 Scotland Saturday, 10 October at 11:00PM
BBC1 Wales Saturday, 10 October at 11:00PM
Sky Movies Family Friday, 16 October at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Family Saturday, 17 October at 3:15AM