Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
PG-13 | 2h 9min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy | 26 May 2017 (USA)
Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. ack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.
The question I have been asking is, “do we need another Pirates movie?”; which is not an easy question to answer. It would be nice to have another good Pirates movie but to simply add a repeat of the last three would be a waste of time and energy. There was something special and fun about the first film but they were never quite able to get that lightening back in the rum bottle. All I was hoping for was more of the original and some fantastic visuals. I got both.
This one feel very similar to the first Pirates film. It starts with a young lad out at sea and then flashes forward several years. The story is centered around young Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) who has been trying his entire life to find a way to break the curse that has held his dad Will (Orlando Bloom) captive on the ocean depths for years. Henry has to elicit the help of Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and a young scientist (Kaya Scodelario) to aid in his journey. Along the way they run in to many a scallawag including Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and a new enemy, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem).
Lots of familiar faces in this one some spanning the past four films. It is that nostalgia and reminiscence that makes this chapter in the franchise better than some of the latter. The humor and tones are lighter and everyone seems to be having fun with their roles. Bardem especially embraces his character and delivers a powerful and menacing aquatic avenger. The visual effects are so stunning and completely solidify Salazar as a Pirates staple. He is fantastic to watch.
There is a lot of history in this one too. Many years have passed and we get glimpses back into areas of Sparrow’s life as well as Barbossa. Not so much that it clogs up the forward progression of the story but enough to make for interesting trivia. In fact the entire script is pretty solid. I enjoyed the banter and the plot points were original enough without being too outside the realm of the familiar. Some may find it too safe but I actually liked that about it. This isn’t The Godfather or Citizen Kane. It is a Disney film about Pirates and ghosts; so “fun” needs to be the main ingredient.
Depp has made a his fair share of gold coins as the staggering, rum loving Sparrow. Trust me there is nothing different about him here. It is almost commendable that he is able to mimic Jack exactly as he did 14 years ago. If he annoyed you in the last four movies then don’t expect to love him here. Nothing new or refreshed here. But I am ok with that, again because I wanted more of the original and less of the last two.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content. The images and creatures may be a tad too scary for the 10 and under crowd. There are lots of fisticuffs and swashbuckling but in that Disney vein. The suggestive content is mild and underhanded. If you stopped and explained to your younger viewer what it meant it might be bad but otherwise it will probably go unnoticed by them. I give this Pirates 3.5 out of 5 teeth whitening strips. I am not sure we needed another installment but am not displeased with what transpired.