Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 21
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
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For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

AND I THOUGHT MY JAILBREAK PLAN WAS FOOLPROOF: Captain Jack Sparrow (center) is literally being dragged to a meeting with King George II (Richard Griffiths, not shown) to find out what his punishment will be for rescuing his first mate Gibbs (Kevin McNally, not shown) from being hanged.

Pirates of the Carribean — On Stranger Tides: Captain Jack Is Back in Search of the Fountain of Youth

Kam Williams

So far Pirates of the Caribbean has proven to be a review-proof series of sequels, thanks to Captain Jack Sparrow’s (Johnny Depp) roguish charm, derring-do and the way in which his swashbuckling adventures manage to capture the imagination of tweeners. On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment in the popular series, does not disappoint, because Captain Jack is once again involved in a seafaring saga filled with lots of special effects that the younger generation enjoy.

This episode opens in a London courtroom, where we find Jack hatching an elaborate plan to save his loyal first mate Gibbs (Kevin McNally) from the hangman’s noose. However, after a daring jailbreak the pair are apprehended and dragged before King George II (Richard Griffiths) who spares their lives on condition that they participate in an expedition to find the fabled fountain of youth for England before Ponce de Leon from Spain finds it.

The hitch is that since Jack’s ship, the Black Pearl, was lost at sea, he will have to set sail on the HMS Providence, a privateer frigate under the command of his archenemy, Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush). Rather than suffer such an indignity, Jack escapes again and ends up in league with the legendary Blackbeard (Ian McShane) aboard the ship Queen Anne’s Revenge. Once on board he falls under the spell of Blackbeard’s daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz).

At this point On Stranger Tides becomes a cutthroat competition pitting Barbossa and Blackbeard’s vessels against each other in a race for the fountain of youth. En route, the participants deal with a host of adventures ranging from seductive mermaids to magical chalices. These encounters are reminiscent of the tests Odysseus underwent in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey.

Of course, jaunty Jack prevails in the end; be sure to sit through the closing credits for a hint about what to expect from the next sequel.

Very Good (3 stars), rated PG-13 for violence and intense action-adventure sequences, running time: 137 minutes. distributor: Walt Disney Pictures.

For more movie summaries, see Kam’s Kapsules.

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