Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 129 mins

Star Rating: 4/5

THE third and fourth voyages of the Pirates Of The Caribbean saga, At World's End and On Stranger Tides, sprung leaks in their ramshackle screenplays and capsized under the weight of feverish expectation. After a six-year hiatus, the blockbusting series sets sail with two new directors at the helm - Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg - and Johnny Depp swabbing the decks in his familiar guise as salty seadog Jack Sparrow.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge is a marked improvement with solid performances from two charismatic young actors, Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites. Depp continues to ply his comic schtick with wide-eyed gusto and Spanish actor Javier Bardem is a lip-smacking phantasmagorical villain from the watery underworld. Action sequences are spectacular, including the hysterically overblown theft of a bank safe and a dizzying dance of death between Jack and a guillotine blade.

The fifth chapter has its pleasures but it's not all plain sailing. The return of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and another original character is misjudged and a superfluous cameo for Paul McCartney as a fellow pirate also should have walked the gangplank.

Twelve-year-old Henry Turner (Lewis McGowan) stows away on the wreck of the Flying Dutchman in order to be reunited with his father Will (Bloom) and track down the mythical Trident of Poseidon. He unexpectedly crosses paths with Jack Sparrow (Depp) who is being pursued by spectral pirate Captain Armando Salazar (Bardem). Ronning and Sandberg's film is advertised as the "final" adventure and it would be sensible to drop the mainsail here while the series is still buoyant.