For any die hard Pirates fan, four years are worth the wait for the latest installment of the world wide grossing franchise to happen. Being a Pirates nerd myself, I was very excited and a bit uneasy about the new film, directed by Rob Marshall and, once again, starring the witty and outrageously hilarious Johnny Depp.I’m not going to lie, I had my doubts when I saw the trailer for this film. In my opinion, the third Pirates tied up all loose ends and drew a close to the legacy of Captain Jack Sparrow and his adventure, which I thought, despise the opinions of others, to be very well written. In Stranger Tides, gone was the highly watchable romantic arc between Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom’s characters, instead we get a strange new Spanish flavor with a new character portrayed by Penelope Cruz, as well as a new villain, Blackbeard. Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t this has, “been there, done that” written all over it?Nevertheless, I went and saw the movie. I was mildly satisfied, partially because of the comic relief moments brought by Depp. The film, however, is a long shot from achieving the epicness of its predecessors, notably “At Worlds’s End”. The story itself couldn’t be more simple, but it’s beguiled by the many subplots that jump all over the places. The Black Pearl doesn’t even appear in this movie, and Jack Sparrow is being captured by pretty much every single other major characters. Penelope Cruz plays Angelica, a love interest from Jack’s past. Together, they join a quest with the evil pirate lord Blackbeard, played by none other than Ian McShane, in search of the Fountain of Youth.The title of the film, On Stranger Tides, suggests that the majority of the movie should be set on the ocean. In reality, the characters spend half of the movie in jungles and caves, leaving their ships and crew to vicious man-eating mermaids. Yes, there are mermaids in this film. In fact, a subplot involving a young missionary and a mermaid takes up almost the entire movie, and I must admit, it was probably the most uninspired and cliche story arc in any of the Pirates movies. It’s funny how the producers cast actors resembling to Bloom and Knightly in an attempt to compensate for their absence. Needless to say, they failed miserably.The highly of the movie belongs to Geoffery Rush, who once again portrays the wicked and funny Captain Hector Barbossa. Now working under the King, the former pirate forces Jack to join him oh his quest to find the fountain, but secretly allying himself with the Spanish in order to seek revenge on Blackbeard. As always, Barbossa’s screen time, way too small as it was, brings a few light hearted fun to an otherwise aimless sequel filled with mindless action stunts and cheesy CGI.Several notable veteran actors made a few unexpected cameos, including Richard Griffith, who is remembered for his role in some of the Harry Potter films. Judy Dench, who plays a wealthy noblewoman whom Jack briefly encounters. Keith Richard returns as Jack’s mysterious father, who once again serves as a sage type of figure.Hans Zimmer also returns as the film’s composer, who complied soundtracks from the previous films and threw in a fresh Spanish twist.Despite the many returning, the new film lacks the stunning visual and grand scope that has become a trademark for the Pirates films. With less characters, a less intriguing story line, and a somewhat disjoint cast, On Stranger Tides may leave fans question their reasons for watching another so-so Hollywood blockbuster sequel. Nevertheless, the movie doesn’t fail to captivate general audience with its new direction and fares well with its absurd but not too ridiculous plot while proving itself to be a solid continuation of Jerry Bruckheimer’s masterpiece.