PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES

Captain Jack Sparrow leads the expedition for the Fountain of Youth.

Captain Jack Sparrow leads the expedition for the Fountain of Youth.

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(12A) 137mins

Director: Rob Marshall

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane

THE PIRATES franchise sets sail for its fourth outing with this tale of eternal youth and mermaids.

While I enjoyed various parts of the movie I did find it dragged on occasions, even though it’s shorter than the 167 minutes of the previous one.

The star has always been Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow and Pirates 4 (as it has become known) only moves up a gear when he’s on screen.

Ian McShane is the pick of the rest in his portrayal of the infamous Blackbeard, while Geoffrey Rush’s character of the pirate Barbossa has rather run its course.

Even the introduction of Sparrow’s former love interest Angelica (Cruz) doesn’t really light up the screen.

Having said that, there is, as ever, plenty of action and a good dose of humour.

The plot sees Sparrow on a voyage to find the Fountain of Eternal Youth.

However, Blackbeard is also attempting to track down the life-giving waters for very personal reasons.

And there’s Barbossa, working for the King, who is also on the same trail.

Then there’s the Spanish who are... yes, you’ve guessed.

A vital part of the quest is tracking down a mermaid and this part gets a bit too bogged down with a Bible-carrying member of the crew.

The 3D isn’t bad, especially when we get to the finale in the jungle with birds swooping about, but Im sure 2D works well enough.

Overall, it’s a fun action movie but the original is still the best.

three out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley