I remember loving the first one, liking the second and frowning at the third of the POTC series. One of the main reasons for that was the Elizabeth/Will storyline. It got old fast and when it did, boredom was all there was left. So when Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom walked the plank, I couldn't be happier. Especially when another actress was added to the cast in the form of Penelope Cruz. She may have been added merely for the "babe-factor", but I liked the idea very much.
The fourth of the POTC series evolves around the search for 'the Fountain of Youth', which obvious function is the gift of more life. Captain Jack Sparrow is back as his funny, silly self and got quite a few laughs out of me and the rest of the audience (no surprises there). Somehow he ends up a prisoner on 'The Queen's Revenge' with new villain Blackbeard (Ian McShane) as well as "old friend", Angelica (Cruz). Basically, the begin, middle and end of the film is the journey to the Fountain, but not only Jack and co. want to get there; the Spanish, British navies and good ol' Captain Barbossa are in the race too. What's next is a fun ride filled with mermaids, good action scenes and mixed encounters between Jack and Angelica.
Visually, the film couldn't be better. The setting starts out in beautiful London, and gets even better along the coast of Hawaii. The 3D effect was, once agin, highly unneccesary, but I hadn't been expecting anything else. If there's one thing POTC masters at, it's the well-choreographed action scenes. Whether it was between two pirates, a pirate and a mermaid or between Blackbeard and a one-legged Barbossa; the action never failed.
Did the film meet my expectations? Yes and no. Though it lacks the complex matters of the previous films, it gains new elements and powers through. It contain some of the classic POTC elements; funny dialogue, good action, gorgeous setting. As well as new ones; romance for Jack (which is pretty much superior to any other).
All in all, I enjoyed the movie very much and don't regret going to the cinemas to see it. It's what we call a "guilty pleasure" and that's good enough for me!