Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, directed by Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg, is the 5th installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally, with Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario in new roles. Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Capt. Jack Sparrow feels the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost sailors led by his old nemesis, the evil Capt. Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it, he must forge an uneasy alliance with a brilliant and beautiful astronomer and a headstrong young man in the British navy.
Okay, regarding the Pirates franchise. I find myself being more lenient towards it than other reviewers, what with some critics saying that it sucks and it’s terrible and whatnot. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t really seen the previous 4 movies in years now, so whatever call of similarities or the movie drudging the same path is lost on me.
With that said, I’ll still defend the movies. When I go into a Pirates movie, I expect to see some cinematic swashbuckling adventure, and nothing much more, and for the most part I think the series does that pretty well. The series has always been cinematic by design, what with all those wide shots and all, and there’s just enough there to keep me concentrated throughout the movie.
I haven’t been soiled by the repetition of the other movies and had a good time in the theater is what I’m trying to say.
Cast-wise, it’s all good as always. Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow is what you’d expect, but there was a bit more of depth and exploration of his character that I did not expect and found actually interesting. From what I heard it contradicts past movies though, so…I guess I shouldn’t give it too much credit.
I also like that they tried to separate the two new photogenic leads from just being “Will and Elizabeth Lite”. I believe they succeed to some extent, doing their darndest to make these characters unique in their own way, but somewhere at the end of the 2nd act there’s a…plot discovery that just drives it down.
Javier Bardem as the new villain I actually find interesting as well, until once more in the third act when the movie has to wrap things up. I don’t know if it’s because of Javier himself or genuinely good character writing, but I was drawn in to his story.
The flaws of the movie are strewn about in small bits and moments, with some quick appearances of new characters that we don’t ultimately learn much or care about, some tedious jokes, and some strange callbacks, basically anything that might’ve been fixed with a script rewrite. Except perhaps again, the rush of a climax. The speed of the movie was somewhat quick already, but at the ending it really seemed to shift from 5th to 6th gear, just quickly trying to settle everything.
If this really is the supposed last installment of the series-I’ll believe it when I don’t see it-I suppose it could’ve ended on a worse note.
In conclusion, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a Pirates movie. That along should deem whether you want to see it or not. Personally I had fun with it; it’s a good weekend watch. Soft recommendation.