Saturday, May 18, 2024

Cannes: Johnny Depp Swashbuckles Into Pirates, Number 4


Captain Jack Sparrow is back, and this time he’s looking for the Fountain of Youth. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” premieres tonight at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival with stars Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, and Ian McShane on hand. Geoffrey Rush, of course, is featured front and center in the latest installment of the “Pirates” series, and Keith Richards–uncredited–returns as Sparrow’s father albeit ever so briefly. It’s hard to evaluate a “Pirates” movie at this point.

At the premiere tonight: the cast, plus Jane Fonda, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, and all the celebs who aren’t attending the Tribeca Film Festival’s Cannes screening and dinner.

You know it will be a blockbuster; the whole thing is sort of beyond criticism. And unlike “Harry Potter,” we’re not working toward a conclusion. At today’s press conference, Depp threatened many more episodes. Knowing that there’s already a script for Number 5, and that Cruz has probably signed on for Number 6, too. what can you do but sit back and relax and enjoy? It’s not like this is torture, although the Hans Zimmer score is so loud and lively that you may want to wear earplugs.

The plot this time is indeed the search for the Fountain of Youth. There’s a lot of swordplay along the way, and some feisty chit chat between Depp and Cruz–they’re a good pair. Penelope is a good match for Depp. Ian McShane is a formidable Blackbeard. And there’s loads of special effects, plenty of CGI to satisfy the kids. This is summer blockbuster big studio fare, nicely polished and laminated in a very pleasant package.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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