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. Jack’s only hope of survival lies is 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.
What We Thought:
I’m not the biggest Pirates of the Caribbean fan. To be honest I’ve only seen the first and fourth movies. I didn’t think much of the first one so I didn’t see the first two sequels. The fourth came out years afterwards that I gave it a try and thought it was ok enough. Having not seen the second and third films sort of hurts my enjoyment of the latest film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
A lot of the plot of this fifth film relies on your knowledge of past movies. Brenton Thwaites plays the son of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s characters. I had no idea they even had a son or what happened to them. They aren’t in the fourth movie I saw and I didn’t think to ask what became of them. Thwaites is Henry Turner who wants to find Poseidon’s Trident to save his father from a curse that has him trapped at the bottom of the sea, I believe in a boat, but don’t quote me on that. If you’ve seen all the films, you’ll know more than I do.
Kaya Scodelario (of The Mazerunner franchise) plays Carina who is trying to discover her roots and also Poseidon’s Trident. She is a woman of science who everyone believes to be a witch. With a book from her father she’s never known, she joins up with Captain Jack and Henry to follow the stars and hopefully get answers.
They are chased by Captain Salazar, a Spanish captain (played by Javier Bardem) who is out for revenge on Captain Jack. When Jack was younger he trapped Salazar and his crew in the Devil’s Triangle and Salazar needs the trident to become human again and be able to stand on dry land.
That sounds like there is a lot going on in the film and that’s pretty accurate. There’s some side stories like who is Carina’s father (you should see that coming many fathoms away), Jack and the crew are also being chased by the British along with Salazar and other stories.
Because I didn’t know exactly what was going on, the story seemed all over the place. Others who enjoy the movies agreed with me. One said it felt like it was fan fiction more than an actual Pirates script. I can see that because of all the interconnections between characters both new and old.
But just because the script isn’t great doesn’t mean the effects aren’t. Even though I didn’t really care about the characters there are some great visual effects. Salazar and his ghost crew are pretty cool to look at. Some are missing limbs and heads and Bardem’s hair is very ghostly. There’s a scene with a guillotine that is fantastic to look at. It’s visually the best part of the film. The way it spun over and over again with Depp is something you’ll remember for years. Every film seems to have a Captain Jack moment and this is probably the one people will be talking about.
Although I will say there is one scene that has pretty awful effects. A flashback shows a young Jack and what he did to Salazar and the de-aging effect on Johnny Depp is laughable. They tried to make him look 30 years younger or so and it’s just not good. It’s as bad as the Rogue One effects for older, deceased actors.
The fourth movie made over a billion dollars worldwide in 2011. Disney is really hoping that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales does as well. Fans will line up to see it and I’m thinking most will overall enjoy it. Depp is always solid as Captain Jack and this one sees a return of some favorite characters as well. It’s not my favorite franchise, but when they make a billion dollars Disney will keep pumping them out. Also, there is end credits scene so if you see it, make sure to stay till the end.
Cast & Crew:
- Johnny Depp
- Javier Bardem
- Brenton Thwaites
- Kaya Scodelario
- Orlando Bloom
- Geoffrey Rush
Recommended If You Like:
- The Pirates of the Caribbean films
- Johnny Depp