Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Review
Of late, the box office is infiltrated with either remakes or some form of a “sequel” (even if they are four films removed from the originals). Even still, audiences make a success of them. One such success of 2017 is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth series’ film to come from the franchise. Back in our lives is the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, and despite his scoundrel ways, we’re thrilled about this.
Since his dismissal as Captain of his prized ship, The Black Pearl, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is still making mischief. Lately, he’s getting up to trouble by robbing a bank claiming to be impenetrable, all while seducing the bank president’s wife!
In true Jack Sparrow fashion, the plan doesn’t go quite as planned, which is why he lands in a jail cell. This is where the ambitious young Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) finds the man he believes can help him.
Growing up, Henry heard the rumors of Jack’s ability to commandeer impossible missions. This is a skill he desperately needs. Especially with his father, Will stuck internally on a ghost ship. Henry makes it his life’s mission to find Jack and convince him to help. The key to his father’s freedom is the trident of Poseidon, and so along with a spunky horologist named Carina (Kaya Scodelario), the unlikely trio set out. But things grow confusing when they become captives of Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) all while an undead sea Captain (Javier Bardem) pursues them.
You know those movies that inspire excitement even with potential flaws? The ones that you “know” you’ll see on the big screen no matter what? This fifth installment in the ‘Pirates’ franchise is one such movie. When it was announced, excitement was sky high. Despite all that anticipation, I never did get to the theater to experience this one. Nonetheless, it did end up in my cart the first week it was on DVD… and now, these months later, I finally stepped inside its world.
To return to this adventurous world is a form of escapism unlike any other. It’s fast and exciting. Plus, the reunion fans have looked forward to is present. But we’ll get into that later on. For now, let’s talk about the production. There are two things I appreciate most about this film and what it tries to accomplish. One of these things is that it throws back to its origins. I appreciate that the director and writers try and recapture the magic of the first film by sticking with the old-fashioned appeal of the genre.
Where some of the previous films in the franchise go overboard and make use of a few too many CGI effects and creatures, this one scales back. There is one instance of “creatures” meant to terrify, however, the rest appeals as more “old-fashioned,” good fun. I loved that about this fifth part. As a fan of the Disney “original,” it’s this nostalgic feeling that really keeps the good times rolling.
Those of us who’ve been with the series since the beginning will adore the reunion resulting from the cameos of Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom. Beautiful though it is, I will lodge a tiny complaint. I do wish there’d been something… more. Speaking of the characters, the second thing I appreciate about this film is that there is no “epic” love story. ‘Pirates’ already has an epic love story, and it’s one fans are fully invested in despite the disappearing act. ‘Dead Man Walking’ does have a kind of romance, but it’s subtle and perfectly adorable for its characters. Plus, we meet teenage Jack and he finally ties the knot, in the most hilarious fashion.
With its primary cast returning, everything again presents wonderfully. From the cast who are the embodiment of these characters to the return of costumer Penny Rose, all of the story trademarks are back. Including the Black Pearl! The long and short of these thoughts are this. ‘Dead Men’ is better than I anticipated. Whether or not this is from a strong cast, good laughs, or a combination, it’s one of those ideal adventure films’ that’s way too much fun to watch.
Where to watch: You can rent this on Amazon Video or buy on DVD.
Content Note: Rated PG-13, the film contains some profanity/slang and innuendo.
Tell me, have you seen the fifth installment in this franchise? Do you enjoy these movies or are you so over them? Who’s your favorite character? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
“You had me at hello.”
“Happiness in marriage is entirely a
matter of chance.”
(Scroll down for Full Period Drama Breakdown)
*Period Drama Breakdown Note: Leading Man Appeal based on the men of this franchise, and is not exclusive to Jack.