I really enjoyed the movie. I was apprehensive going in to see it for fear it would suck, but I have to say it was great. It's probably my 2nd favorite film of the series (but in a close race with PotC 2). I'm not going to post any spoilers on here, but here are my pros and cons...and the pros really did outweigh my few gripes.
1) A NEW STORY - Yeah, I know it's ripped from a Tim Powers book. But it was refreshing to see a new story that didn't require me to remember what happened in the past 2 films. It was a solid movie that stood alone from the others.
2) NEW CHARACTERS - Don't get me wrong, I like Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. However, it was nice to watch new characters interact without seeing crew members chase their eyeballs around deck, or make midget jokes. I thought Penelope Cruz did an outstanding job (you can't tell she was pregnant) and I actually liked the Spaniards.
3) DIRECTING - I was very worried the transition from Gore Verbinski to Robb Marshall wouldn't work, but it did. The movie felt like any other PotC movie. The movie did seem a little darker and more serious at times, but all-in-all it felt like a solid transition.
4) MERMAIDS - I honestly thought the mermaids would destroy the film and be a joke to the franchise. I was proven wrong.
5) JACK SPARROW - Without any major hang-ups (other than a love interest), Jack is actually doing what he does best--pirating. And it's really good to see him likeable again and demonstrating that he's actually a pretty good trickster. He was more of a hero in this movie than in the past 2 films.
6) QUEEN ANNE'S REVENGE - I want this ship. No, it's not historically accurate. (Matt's right, the flag is incorrect.) But it's still pretty baddass.
1) Ian McShane as Blackbeard - After the first few lines he delivered, I realized he was playing the role of Blackbeard as...Ian McShane. I was hoping for a little bit of piratey flair, rather than Al Swearengin from Deadwood. This might be considered a con, but you know what? I really like Ian McShane. So it's a wash.
2) Not much high seas piracy - The majority of the film took place on land, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just odd to finally see a movie that felt more like Indiana Jones than Pirates of the Caribbean in regards to the location.
3) The Fountain of Youth - I felt this was definitely one of those movies where the journey was much better than the destination. Never did I say to myself, "Man! I can't wait til they find the fountain!"
1) The Zombies - It's not that the zombies were bad. It's just that they weren't fully explained, and they didn't serve much of a purpose.
2) Magic - Blackbeard's connection to voodoo/magic didn't seem to have much of a back story, which I would have liked them to expand upon.
3) The Funny - I didn't think the movie was as humorous as the others (or maybe the jokes didn't go over as well with me as I hoped), but whatever. It still rocked.
I really think this movie will be enjoyed by the majority of pirate fans out there. Was it better than the first one? No, but few sequels ever are. It is, however, enjoyable and a worthy PotC film.