Cast: Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane
Director: Rob Marshall
Hoist the main sail, shiver your timbers and ready your hearties, it's back to the high seas we go...
Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow, the ever so slightly shady and selfish captain in this latest, rumoured to be the start of a new trilogy.
Finding out someone is impersonating him, Jack attempts to track down the imposter but finds himself slap bang in the middle of a race between the Spanish, the English and some pirates lead by Blackbeard to get to the legendary fountain of youth.
Thrown into that mix is Geoffrey Rush's now one legged Captain Barbossa and Angelica, Sparrow's ex, played by Penelope Cruz.
Add in a hunt for a mermaid whose tears can activate the fountain's prophecy, Ian McShane's Blackbeard who's trying to thwart fate and you should have a fairly potent mix for a rewarding blockbuster.
And yet, this outing is as flat as a calm sea.
With jokes that fail to hit any high points (until near the end) and a script which fails to ignite any real sparks of interest, this overlong outing will have you thinking of bailing overboard.
Sure, Depp rolls out his drunken Keith Richards inspired routine but you can't help bit feel this ship has somewhat sailed - with an over powering soundtrack which blasts much of the continual sword play, the whole thing feels bloated and indulgent - and definitely suffers from a lack of Bloom and Knightley as solid supporting characters. An attempt to try and provide some Bloom lite surfaces in the shape of Sam Claflin's missionary, Phillip - but he's too wishy washy to make anything of the role.
That said there are some good moments; the hunt for mermaids is gorgeously shot as it skirts the boundary between sensual and downright scary; Rush impresses at the expense of McShane's weaker performance and some of the effects are very good. Add in some much needed hunour at the end and you get a sense of what really could have been. A lack of real chemistry between Cruz and Depp makes it hard to believe this is Jack's true love.
The inevitable seeds are sown for another but I think it's time to retire this crew and franchise and let the inimitable Cap'n Jack Sparrow sail off into the sunset.