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Captain Jack is back, and so is the charm of the film series Jeri Jacquin | Fri, May 20 2011 11:30 PM

Now playing in theaters from director Rob Marshall, Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney films is “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

This film tells the story of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), a pirate who’s suave and full of charm. Once again he finds himself in trouble, but this time it may be for love. He crosses paths once again with the lovely Angelica (Penelope Cruz) and he may have just met his match.

With being charmed by Angelica comes the realization she is looking for the Fountain of Youth. She forces him aboard the ship Queen Anne’s Revenge, where he comes face to face with Blackbeard (Ian McShane), who dabbles in the black arts and is ruthless to get what he wants.

Aboard the ship, Jack must stay charming to deal with Blackbeard and his crew of zombies. Also aboard is young Philip (Sam Claflin), a missionary who will do anything for salvation. If that isn’t enough, there are also the mystical events following the ship, with the appearance of a beautiful mermaid, Syrena (Astrid Berges-Frisbey).

It doesn’t take long before Jack is once again put to the test to get the goods, get the girl and get out alive.

Final word:
Depp is one of those actors that audiences never tire of. He literally is Captain Jack Sparrow. This character is unexpected, funny, creative, lives in the moment and takes his slaps with a twinkle in his eye. Watching his character alone is an adventure.

Cruz is very vibrant as Angelica. Considering she was pregnant at the time of filming, she took the character by the reigns and seemed to be having fun. I can’t imagine making one of these films and not having a blast. She is a breath of fresh air in a new story line.

McShane is another actor who just shines every time he is on the screen. He has a presence that is foreboding and a tad frightening, in that even when he’s being good there is an underlying bad. He is the epitome of a bad pirate.

The change of plot and the shifting of the cast have made the film interesting to watch. That is not to say I won’t miss Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and his lovely love Elizabeth Swan (Kiera Knightley), but it is smart of the filmmakers to let go of the story and follow Captain Jack.

In 2003 audiences came to embrace Captain Jack Sparrow. If anyone has ever been to Disneyland and ridden the ride “Pirates of the Caribbean,” there would be little chance audiences would miss the film. If I had to choose a childhood favorite scene it would be the dog holding the jail keys in his mouth away from the cell occupants. The ride came to life then and is still a thrill now.

Other cast members names will be familiar, and they should be — the film series could not have gone as far without them: Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbosa, who enters into an alliance with Captain Jack, and Kevin R. McNally as Sparrow’s sidekick Gibbs.

Tubs of popcorn: I give “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. I have to say I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. Previous “Pirates” films were beginning to lose their edge, but this film has Depp picking up the beat once again.

The story is solid and there is plenty of humor to go around — a fun way to kick off summer films.

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