Title – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
Directors – Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki)
Cast – Johnny Depp, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, David Wenham, Stephen Graham
Plot – Pursued by undead pirate hunter Captain Salazar (Bardem), Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) must head on a search for Poseidon’s trident in hope that it can help him defeat Salazar and let him be free to sail the seas in search of more misadventure.
“A great pirate does not bother with such intricacies”
Review by Eddie on 07/12/2017
I can still remember heading along to Pirates of the Caribbean in 2003, a Disney movie based on a theme park ride that was never supposed to be anything more than a mildly amusing blockbuster but somehow ended up spawning a multi-billion dollar series that catapulted its then more arthouse focussed star into a Hollywood leading man.
Gore Verbinski’s movie was, against all the odds, a fantastically fun adventure, filled with great action, characters and humour, elements that were slowly but surely lost as the series went on and that all but disappeared by the franchise’s misguided On Stranger Tides from 2011.
Like it’s leading man Johnny Depp, the series was getting more tiresome as it went and in many ways its surprising Disney felt the need to unleash the franchises 5th feature film on us this year in the form of Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Recruiting Kon-Tiki helmers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg to oversee proceedings this time around, Dead Men Tell No Tales isn’t a terribly bad film by any stretch of the imagination but its number 1 achievement is its ability to once more remind us just how good Curse of the Black Pearl was.
Wisely moving at a much fast pace than some of the previous bloated instalments, Dead Men moves at an almost alarmingly quick pace as we are introduced to new characters like rising Australian star Brenton Thwaites’s Henry (son of Will) Turner, Kaya Scodelario’s feisty and intelligent Carina Smyth and Javier Bardem’s new baddie Captain Salazar, while still mixing in the old with Johnny Depp coming along for the ride once more as Jack Sparrow and Geoffrey Rush chewing scenery as pirate captain Barbosa.
Rønning and Sandberg no doubt didn’t want us thinking too long and hard about an overly complicated story that includes Poseidon’s trident, ghost ships, lost parents and the filmmakers throw set piece after set piece at us to keep our enjoyment levels up.
There is enjoyment to be found here as well, with a few hilariously inventive set-ups bringing the trademark Pirates lunacy and a few characters able to bring up the occasional belly laugh but overall the world of this franchise still feels like a rather so-so experience especially when placed up alongside the first adventure.
The heart and soul that was found originally has all but been lost with Jack Sparrow becoming more and more of an annoyance rather than a comical delight, while the films failure to capture any real heart is glaringly evident in the stilted and uninteresting romance between Henry and Carina and an atrociously bad cliffside ending that makes you screw up your face in disgust, rather than melt your heart.
Final Say –
There’s probably going to be another journey on the high seas for this franchise in the future but it would be great to see Disney start afresh in this world, as the continued return of characters and situations that initially worked no longer do, while Depp would do well to hang up his captains hat once and for all in hope some of the good will legacy can still remain intact for his character that he made his career around.
2 ½ pet sharks out of 5