I just returned from an evening at the movies with a couple of friends where we saw the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. This fourth in the series was subtitled On Stranger Tides. The plot involved Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), the gayest rogue to ever sail the high seas, prancing about on two continents in search of the fabled Fountain of Youth.
There were actually three parties in pursuit of the prize that had eluded Ponce de Leon two centuries before: the Spanish government, the British government, and a pirate ship commanded by the legendary pirate, Sir Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard. Captain Jack Sparrow was impressed into service on board Blackbeard's vessel where he tried unsuccessfully to lead a mutiny and endlessly flirted with Blackbeard's daughter, Angelica (Penelope Cruz), who also happened to be an old girlfriend of Sparrow's from one of the preceding three Pirates' films.
The plot was simple up to a point - three parties in a desperate race to reach the Fountain of Youth. Unfortunately, it was soon complicated by vampire mermaids and a laborious and confusing process for using the Fountain that included two silver chalices, the tear of a mermaid, water from the fountain, and a guessing game.
The movie itself was also confusing and hard to follow. I left the theatre confused as to why it had even been made, and why I had spent two hours of my diminishing life watching it.
My friends, however, liked Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - and I like them, so it was an evening well spent!