Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Series: Pirates of the Caribbean: #5

After the smash hit of the first three and the downer that was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I was cautiously hopeful that they could pull something off with Dead Men Tell No Tales. And… they did? Sort of?

On the plus side, Javier Bardem’s as Captain Salazar Salazar is wonderfully creepy villain… but we’ve already done that all before. He’s basically Barbossa from the first film plus Davy Jones from the second. Great presence, but we’ve done it all before. His cursed ship is pretty awesome though, I’ll give them that.

Passing the mantle to Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth… I like that. They both play the parts well and remind me a lot of Bloom and Knightly from the first movie. Scodelario gets a lot more to do, even if it is rather overblown (and the timeline for witch trials doesn’t really work). I’d certainly watch a movie or two more with them.

We’re being chased by the dead in a ship raised from a bottle. Where is your science in that?

Jack Sparrow… felt hollow. He had a few moments, but really, he was at his best where he embraced being a force of chaos and could absolutely pull of the miraculous and make you wonder–do you think he plans it all? In this, he’s just drunk. It could be so much better…

That first scene, robbing the bank (literally) was spectacular, but didn’t have the right sort of barely believable chaos that I loved about this show and about Depp. The spinning guillotine though… that was awesome. A hint of what was.

Plotwise/spectaclewise, following the stars to some random new artifact? Sure. It works.

A random new thing that the compass apparently can do? Say what now?

Breaking every curse ever at sea (all over the world)… dumb.

Random wedding scene: pointless and kind of gross.

Riding the Black Pearl along a full on Moses-splitting-the-seas style scene with help riding the anchor through open space? An awesome scene.

So a mixed bag really. It’s better than On Stranger Tides, but still nowhere near the first three. It feels like they’re all out of ideas at this point. I suppose we’ll see though. Apparently they’re making another one.