I've seen Pirates of The Carribbean 4: On Stranger Tides, twice now at the cinema (once in 3D and once in 2D) and I have to say I love it. I know not everyone will agree, but for me, Pirates 4 is my favourite out of all of its predecessors. I didn't rate 2 much, and 3 was a bit too complex, but this installment more than makes up for the dissapointment of the last two. In this installment, you have not 1, not 2, but 3 notorious Pirates, all bidding for the same thing; to the find the passage to the Fabled Fountain of Youth. For Jack Sparrow, who is as hilariously mad, 'evil' and funny as ever, its the thrill of the search, for Blackbeard, its all about saving his soul from the one-legged man who is phophesised to kill him, and for Barbosa, now a Privateer in the Kings Navy, its all about extracting revenge on Blackbeard for taking his beloved Pearl - and his leg. With two crews, three pirates, plus the Spanish, all racing to get to the fountain first, there are many hilarious high-jinx and mad-cap mutanies along the way, and Sparrow as usual, finds himself forced to swap sides during the course of film, resulting in much mayhem and mirth.
But before they reach the fountain the crew have to precure one vital ingrediant - the tear of a Mermaid. Easier said than done as it turns out that the Mermaids,(One of whom is model and actress Gemma Ward), far from being mythical and magical, are vicious and deadly, and who will slay the skin from any Sailor who crosses their path. With he help of unwitting Missionary Philip Swift (The gorgeous Sam Claflin) they finally manage trap a Mermaid, and proceed to the Fountain. With Penelope Cruz as Blackbeards daughter and Sparrows old flame, Angelica, also aboard, their mission can only spell trouble, especially as they don't bank on Phillip falling in love with the beautiful Mermaid, Syrena (The stunning Astrid Burges-Frisbey). Eventually reaching the fabled fountain, Blackbeard comes face to face with his old advasary Barbosa, and a fight to the death ensues, with Sparrow as usual manipulating and twisting the eventual outcome to his own hilarious advantage.
The film ends yet again, on a bit of a cliff-hanger and you just know there has to be a number 5 to tie up all the loose ends. Although Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom are not in this film, I didn't really miss them much to be honest, and Sam Claflin and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as the stalwart missionary and the beautiful Mermaid do a great job of replacing Will and Elizabeths previous romantic element in the film. In fact, I was dissapointed that their touching little love story didn't get more air-time as it was one of my favourite elements of the film. I can only hope that if a 5/6 does materialise (as rumours suggest they will) that we get to see a full exploration of their characters in the next installments.
This film is deliciously dark and scary in places, but retains its wonderful wit and humour along the way. It looks spectacular in 3D (Johnny Depp in 3D = Yum) but is just as good in 2D. I can't wait for this to come out so I can buy it. There is also an added scene at the end again, if you wait for the credits to end, which more than paves the way for a number 5 to materialise. Please Disney - Give us more Pirates - I for one haven't had my fill yet.