Title: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Directed by: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
Starring: Johnny Depp, Kaya Scodelario, Javier Bardem,
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Reviewed by: Courtney DeWitt
FA Scorecard: B
It’s still a pirates life for me! As the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Men Tell No Tales does not disappoint. Swashbuckling, things blow up, reappearances of characters we love, and even Paul McCartney making a short, piratey appearance! What more could one want?
Carina Smyth, a headstrong woman of science, wants one thing. To live out the legacy of her father by searching for a legendary treasure using a map no man can read. Fate lands her alongside a young man searching to free his father from a curse and a seemingly perpetually drunk pirate captain. Henry Turner and Jack Sparrow frustrate her, but she’s determined to take what help she can find. Little does she know that these men have their own issues.
Henry Turner is determined to free his father, Will, from The Dutchman. He’s been told only the Trident of Poseidon can accomplish this task, so he searches for the man best at finding legendary treasure. Jack Sparrow, however, has been down on his luck. His current ship can hardly be called a ship. His crew is ready to abandon him with no income to buy food or shelter. To make matters worse, an old adversary, a ghost with a ghost crew no less, is scouring the seas to exact revenge on the once young pirate that bested his crew. With the dead controlling the seas, adversaries on all sides, and a map no man can read, can this unwitting trio find the only thing that can save them?
I saw the apprehension about a fifth installment. Many moviegoers always seem to become cautious when a series passes the trilogy mark, and often rightfully so. However, Loving I’m sure many fans are picking at the continuity in the lore, and perhaps a few spots may not add up. (To avoid spoilers, I won’t divulge them, as many of them involve a couple major plot points.)
I have to say though. I didn’t watch this movie to find a magnum opus of pirates in all their historically accurate lack-of-splendor. There’s always some nits to pick at. I watched because I enjoy the action, the amazing camerawork and graphics, and characters old and new. After all, Curse of the Black Pearl came out 14 years ago. And after At World’s End, I just knew that we had to see more of Will Turner’s son that made a brief appearance at the end of the credits. Call it Disney milking it for all its worth; I call it swashbuckling adventure with actors I’ve loved for over a decade and new actors I can’t wait to see more of. The back story of Carina was even written into a wonderful middle grade novel (review on that coming soon), giving more rise to the girl power I always love to see.
So the decision remains thusly- Is it more important to you that plot points are watertight and every bit of lore is seamless? Perhaps you may want to wait for Redbox on this one. But do you love old favorites (Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush) and enjoy seeing new talent grace the screen in a fun and adventurous piratey tale? Then give it a ride. For me, it will always be a pirate’s life.