So, the question is: Does Pirates 4 sink or swim? I'd say it manages to stay afloat, but misses catching full wind in it's sails. To be more specific, the film is as are all of the Pirates films in my opinion, a fun ride. On the other hand, I can't say that it manages to tread any new ground or breathe new life into the series. As much as I love Depp's Sparrow, the film never seems to quite hit it's stride. Sure, there are some cool action sequences - most noteably the mermaid scene - but there's something missing. Call it heart, call it the x-factor, whatever it is, it's just not quite there. Depp is in fine form as Jack Sparrow once again, along with Kevin Mcnalley as Gibbs and an always stellar Geoffry Rush as Barbosa. But the new comers fail to impress. Penelope Cruz is ok at best, while Blackbeard (Ian McShance) is cool, but just not quite villain enough to be formidable. The most forgettable in the film are the dull pair of Phillip and Syreena...(notice I didn't bother looking the actors' names up) By the time they mysteriously exited the film, so did my memory of their ever having been in it. Those gripes aside, as I said the film is a fun ride. There are some fun action sequences along with ever-stunning visuals of gorgeous locals none of us are likely to see any time soon. The cinematography is in good form, although I will say certain action scenes seemed to be cut a bit slowly for my tastes. As far as the ending creating room for sequels... It does... I guess. I suppose from a certain perspective there are some loose threads left open, but none of them are pressing enough to leave you wanting for more. In fact, I thought the story tied itself together rather cleanly and could just as easily be let alone for good. I liked it, I didn't love it. I'm sure that in the end the box office results will determine Captain Jack's next heading, I'm just not sure if I'll be aboard that particular ship.
BOTTOM LINE: 6.5/10