Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Review

Pirates_Of_The_Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales seems like a monotonous remake of the original 2003 movie, covering all the same beats with a title character that feels more routine than the spontaneous eccentric captain we all love.

It is an adequate addition to the franchise that audiences will struggle to be awed in.

Dead Men Tell No Tales - A Washbuckle Tale

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales starts two years after the post-credit scene in At World's End12-year old Henery Turner boards the Flying Dutchman to tell his father, Will Turner, that there is a way to free him from his ship but his father forbids it - not believing the babblings of a young boy.

Nine years later, Henry (Brenton Thwaites) is now in the British Royal Navy, secretly searching for Jack Sparrow.

While chasing a pirate ship, Henry realises they are about to enter the Devil's Triangle and the ship comes across a shipwreck - where they are set upon by Captain Salazar and his un-dead crew who spare only Henry because of his search for Jack Sparrow.

Meanwhile, in Saint Martin, Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) escapes jail while being sentenced to death for witchcraft and during her escape, she meets Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) who is in the middle of stealing a vault with his crew.

Jack and his crew evade the British and discover that the vault is empty upon where his crew abandon him.

Disheartened after losing his crew, Jack goes to a local tavern and gives away his compass to pay for a drink. But, by forsaking the compass, he unwittingly unleashes Salazar and his crew from within the Devil's Triangle. Jack is caught by the British and he again meets Carina. As they are about to be executed, Henry helps them escape with help from Jack's crew, and together they sail away on Jack's ship, the Dying Gull.

Nine years later, Henry (Brenton Thwaites) is now in the British Royal Navy, secretly searching for Jack Sparrow.

While chasing a pirate ship, Henry realises they are about to enter the Devil's Triangle and the ship comes across a shipwreck - where they are set upon by Captain Salazar and his un-dead crew who spare only Henry because of his search for Jack Sparrow.

Meanwhile, in Saint Martin, Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) escapes jail while being sentenced to death for witchcraft and during her escape, she meets Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) who is in the middle of stealing a vault with his crew.

Jack and his crew evade the British and discover that the vault is empty upon where his crew abandon him.

Disheartened after losing his crew, Jack goes to a local tavern and gives away his compass to pay for a drink. But, by forsaking the compass, he unwittingly unleashes Salazar and his crew from within the Devil's Triangle. Jack is caught by the British and he again meets Carina. As they are about to be executed, Henry helps them escape with help from Jack's crew, and together they sail away on Jack's ship, the Dying Gull.

Carina reveals a map that will lead them to the Trident of Poseidon, a powerful magical object that could help release Will Turner from his fate, and reluctantly decides to team up with Henry and Jack. While searching for Jack, Salazar and his crew roam the seas and destroy ships in Captain Barbossa's (Geoffrey Rush) fleet.

Barbossa meets with Salazar and offers to help find Jack in exchange for sparing the rest of his fleet. Salazar explains to Barbossa that he and his crew once sailed the seas hunting and killing pirates, and had nearly cleansed the seas of piracy before they ran into a young Jack Sparrow, who tricked them into sailing into the Devil's Triangle, where Salazar and his crew were cursed and forced to forever remain un-dead.

The Franchise

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been a cash cow for Disney, grossing over £3 Billion worldwide. Since the first Pirates movie was bestowed upon audiences, each film in the series has brought a sinking domino effect failing to capture the same magic seen in the 2003 original.

This film had quite the road to the big screen, with numerous release date changes due to production issues and it held the hope that it could return the Pirates of the Caribbean property back to its former glory and be a new beginning for the franchise. This film has two titles that it is known by; Dead Men Tell No Tales (which for the purpose of this review is what we will call the film) and Salazar's Revenge, which brought a confusing tale of what the actual name of the film was and this confusion element does transcribe into the film.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth installment in the lucrative film series, the ninth highest-grossing film series of all-time, and on March 4, 2017, one of the directors, Joachim Rønning, stated that Dead Men Tell No Tales was only the beginning of the final adventure, implying that it would not be the last film of the franchise.

No Wind In The Sails 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales had fresh blood at the helm with the Norwegian directing team of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.

The directors feature plenty of action sequences that are reminiscent of the Pirates franchise but at times they seem excessive and over the top, which is a far from the well-balanced ship battles and the pirouetting sword fights from the earlier films.

The directing duo rely more on CGI effects in some of the set pieces to try and keep audiences engaged instead of developing characters and having that witty, humorous interaction that audiences have loved about the franchise. The set pieces are unfortunately drawn out for too long to the point they lose their visual impression on the audience who would have lost interest half way through. It feels that much of the running time is spent watching elaborate stunts, such as Jack repeatedly avoiding a guillotine’s blade by the narrowest of margins or the scene where Jack and his crew rob a bank which has a more Fast and the Furious feel.

The story and narrative is where Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales loses its wind. The script doesn't give the substance or stability for the intriguing mix of characters to grasp on to and embody the depth they could truly generate. It feels rocky at best, sacrificing character interaction and motivation for action sequences and CGI set pieces.

The story exposes itself with holes and unanswered questions that rupture throughout the film; an example of this is revisiting the character of Barbossa and his motivation in joining the plot - why he would risk it all to seek out the undead Salazar? The story does possess a faster-paced narrative that is welcomed and one that is complimentary to the constant turn of events throughout the film distracting the audience from the exhausting plot fickle inconsistencies.

No Wind In The Sails 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales had fresh blood at the helm with the Norwegian directing team of Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.

The directors feature plenty of action sequences that are reminiscent of the Pirates franchise but at times they seem excessive and over the top, which is a far from the well-balanced ship battles and the pirouetting sword fights from the earlier films.

The directing duo rely more on CGI effects in some of the set pieces to try and keep audiences engaged instead of developing characters and having that witty, humorous interaction that audiences have loved about the franchise. The set pieces are unfortunately drawn out for too long to the point they lose their visual impression on the audience who would have lost interest half way through. It feels that much of the running time is spent watching elaborate stunts, such as Jack repeatedly avoiding a guillotine’s blade by the narrowest of margins or the scene where Jack and his crew rob a bank which has a more Fast and the Furious feel.

The story and narrative is where Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales loses its wind. The script doesn't give the substance or stability for the intriguing mix of characters to grasp on to and embody the depth they could truly generate. It feels rocky at best, sacrificing character interaction and motivation for action sequences and CGI set pieces.

The story exposes itself with holes and unanswered questions that rupture throughout the film; an example of this is revisiting the character of Barbossa and his motivation in joining the plot - why he would risk it all to seek out the undead Salazar? The story does possess a faster-paced narrative that is welcomed and one that is complimentary to the constant turn of events throughout the film distracting the audience from the exhausting plot fickle inconsistencies.

The Crew 

The wouldn't be a Pirates of the Caribbean without Johnny Depp. His embodiment of Disney's symbol of the high seas, Jack Sparrow, will forever be glorified as one of the most iconic and loved characters on the big screen. In Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Depp is comfortable and within himself as the infamous Captain. Audiences will love seeing Depp back in this role with his over the top swagger, eye rolls and drunk-esque mannerisms but audiences will find his comedic traits played up which overshadows the heart of the character.

Replacing Orlando Bloom's Will Turner and Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swann is Brenton Thwaites, portraying Will's son Henry, and Kaya Scodelario, who plays the character of self-taught astronomer Carina.

The pair lack the screen chemistry to pull off the romantic angle of the plot, which itself seems shoved together without any real substance. They are okay as the 'new instalments' of Will and Elizabeth as they get caught up in the roller coaster adventure with Jack Sparrow. Geoffrey Rush returns as the likeable Captain Hector Barbossa, who looks worn out as the veteran companion of Jack. Rush definitely goes all out in this film adding new layers to his character with the film shedding some new light and direction on the ageing Captain.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales real talking point is the villain Salazar. Javier Bardem is no stranger to a villainous role after stealing the spotlight in James Bond's Skyfall as Silva.

The actor is sublime as Salazar; working with a script with no depth for him to work with and evolve the antagonistic character.

Bardem does create a fascinating villain that audiences find themselves feeling sympathetic for and follow with intrigue.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales real talking point is the villain Salazar. Javier Bardem is no stranger to a villainous role after stealing the spotlight in James Bond's Skyfall as Silva.

The actor is sublime as Salazar; working with a script with no depth for him to work with and evolve the antagonistic character.

Bardem does create a fascinating villain that audiences find themselves feeling sympathetic for and follow with intrigue.

A Final Thought

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a film that audiences would have been expecting and falls very much in line with the other entry films within the franchise. The film-makers struggled to bring new and exciting visual elements to make the film stand out in a year full of blockbusters and disappointingly it falls short of the benchmark set 14 years ago when Disney first released Pirates of the Caribbean.

The film offers fans of the franchise the same enjoyment elements seen throughout the series with several likeable features to make for a content viewing experience. Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow failed to captivate the audience and prevail over the lavish CGI work that engulfs the majority of the film, which further emphasises the film-makers sacrifice in critical character development and character interaction on screen for a fantastical visual mash-up formula that just doesn't leave a lasting impression on audiences once they leave the cinema.

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