Here's my problem with ON STRANGER TIDES. The plot feels too thin, there is humor but not sufficient, and the action and kidding around reduced substantially. Basically, the film does not get exciting until such time the mermaids come out (and I'm not just saying this because they are sexy). If at all, the mermaid concept is the only one that doesn't feel recycled.

But don't let these hinder you from watching the film. PIRATES 4 is still fun, and Captain Jack still has his quirky moments (you should see how he gets angry at................ the grass!)

The bit about Blackbeard feels misplaced, yet Ian McShane does his best to give form to his character. Penelope Cruz's Angelica is pumped and geared for action, but sadly she is no Elizabeth Swann. The relationship between Jack and Angelica is strained and complicated, and despite the best efforts in storytelling I still cannot figure out Angelica's motivations concerning the fountain of youth.

What's positive about the film though is that the character of Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is surprisingly retained to his pirate nature by the film's ending. Whatever that means you'll have to watch and see.

The standoff at the fountain of youth greatly resembles the standoff at Cortez's gold in the first PIRATES film. This is not a compliment. The haphazard lifting of ideas is unimpressive.

Whereas Penelope Cruz supposedly represents the angst of Elizabeth Swann's character, the sweet, innocent side of the same mentioned character can be attributed to the presence of newcomer Astrid Berges-Frisbey, who is astonishing as the mermaid Syrena. You also have the Will Turner character in the form of Sam Claflin's missionary man turned leading man Philip Swift

In the end, as always, the story is not about Jack. Jack is always the arbiter, a jester if you will, meant to expose the strengths and weaknesses of the other characters. 



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