Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – 2011

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

DirectedRob Marshall

StarsJohnny DeppPenélope Cruz and Ian McShane

What we think: This fourth instalment of the ever popular money churning franchise needed to go some way if it was going to top past swash buckling antics.

Rob Marshall is, I’m afraid way off the mark here, and the performances are lacklustre as they are close to being washed up on shore.

The adventure this time out sees hero Jack Sparrow (Depp) battle villainous pirate Blackbeard (McShane) as the pair race to find the mystical fountain of youth. Along for the ride is old foe Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard’s daughter Angelica Teach (Cruz).

It’s quite clear that Sparrow is the glue that holds all these films together, but in the past he has been aided by a very good cast, and with no Knightley or Bloom to share the spoils with he must go it alone centre stage, taking the weight of a massive franchise on his shoulders.

The plot is confused, and the introduction of new characters rarely get their time to shine which is one of the biggest flaws.

The live action set pieces in which the previous films thrived are few and far between, with the exception of a pretty good carriage chase through the back streets of London and a attack by beautiful mermaids of the deep are all that really is on offer.

Instead we’re left to feast on Depp and his loveable charm, a reuniting with fellow pirate Barbossa adds to an interesting double act, but that does little to lift expectations that something greater is around the corner.

The plot confuses itself and is lost looking for a turning point that never seems to come. Without the love triangle that was Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann we’re left with a rather lame duck in Sam Claflin’s Philip and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey’s  mermaid Syrena.

Having a villain as exciting as the world famous Blackbeard, McShane really needed more time to stand out and direct his menace throughout which he doesn’t get to do all that much.

In the end as Sparrow strolls off into the sunset we feel like we’ve been short changed by a few doubloons, but its a dead cert that we’ll be seeing him again in the not too distant future.

View the trailer

Rating: (3/5)

Visit the IMDb page for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 

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