Last night I went to see the newest Pirates of the Caribbean film, On Stranger Tides. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed it: indeed I found myself looking forward to seeing it again while walking to school this morning.*
Most noted has been the exclusion of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s characters, but I don’t feel they are missing from the film – their plot nicely ended at the end of At World’s End… End.
I was / am more excited by the inclusion of merfolk, sea zombies and especially Edward Teach – the additional nautical folklore. The Pirates films have consistently treated folklore sensibly and well.** While I do not claim that the first two to be unreal, I was most impressed by the treatment of Blackbeard and the historical touches.
My favourite fact about Blackbeard (who is referred to by his real name twice) was that he would set fire to tapers tied to his beard in order to instill fear into his foes (like a fiery chemist); when Blackbeard is introduced in On Stranger Tides, he steps through darkness (á la Barbossa’s revelation in The Curse of the Black Pearl) and the observant viewer notes the glow in his beard.
It is these little details that make me smile.
* Probably not in three dimensions this time.
** Perhaps excluding the anthropomorphication of Davy Jones, of his Locker fame, despite the interesting recaptaincy of the Flying Dutchman.