Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas. (1)
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Hello, Movie Buffs!
Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC): Dead Men Tell No Tales is the finale (as far as we know) and most recent addition to the POTC franchise with directors Joachim Ronning (Kon Tiki) and Espen Sandberg (Kon Tiki) at the helm. While screenplay and story writers, Jeff Nathanson (The Terminal) and Terry Russo (POTC films), remain true to the original humor and whimsy of the POTC franchise as they propel our story into undiscovered seas of family and redemption. As always the production designs (Nigel Phelps – Troy, World War Z) are impeccable, the cinematography (Paul Cameron – Westworld, Collateral) is beautiful, the action is fun and exciting, while the comedy is suitably witty. Although the CGI is excellently done, at times it felt a bit overloaded. There is a scene in particular, from the trailers, involving the flashback of a young Jack Sparrow (Anthony De La Torre) which has small cause for concern. I knew that his face was going to be CGI but I did not expect it to be that obvious. It was obvious more so when he spoke, as the effects looked like they had been done by a Face-Swap App rather than by someone with a degree or experience. The music score was reminiscent and roused memories of the previous films but there were moments when it appeared to be a bit repetitive.
Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland) reprises his role as our star Captain Jack Sparrow with aloof perfection and age. Jack embodies the amusing dim and stoned rock star for most of his screen time but when he is needed most (or when he discovers a most opportune moment), Jack fights valiantly for the cause and saves those he cares about (even if he won’t admit it). In this film, his character appears to be a cross between Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter, the former because he seems to be more mad/crazy. However, if you pay attention you will notice why this is so. Jack is experience a mid-life crisis. The Black Pearl is stuck in a bottle so he has no ship, what’s left of his crew is sad, and his compass can no longer help him obtain what he wants most; the Pearl. So now, he is even more of a drunk and pretty much has nothing left to lose. Kaya Scodelario (Maze Runner) as Carina Smith and Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent, The Giver) as Henry Turner, Will Turner's son, are fantastic as new heroes who fight for love and family. Javier Barden (Skyfall) as the vengeance seeking Captain Salazar is as disturbing as he is evil but in a good way. Geoffrey Rush (POTC film, Shakespeare in Love) returns as Jack’s rival Captain Barbossa and the small peak into his past life offers a new light on his character.
However, despite all these praises, there are a few downfalls. First, while the story starts on a good tone, mid-way through the story splits apart and both sides move at two completely different beats. While all the new characters and returnees are great, most of the time they aren’t actually doing much other than debating over a map or whether someone will admit their wrong. Two, though Jack Sparrow’s return was pleasing and anticipated, for the most part, he is either wasted drunk or telling jokes that are not worthy of such a character. This is largely due to a somewhat poor script and while the script is better than On Strangers Tide, it is by no means the best script in the franchise. Three, the return of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom - Troy) is essentially good as it gives an explanation for Henry’s motivation to find the Trident of Poseidon. However, his character was severely underused and it would have been nice if his character got to partake in a little bit of the action. Finally, Barden is a good villain but I am not sure if he tops Bill Nighy’s, Davy Jones.
Overall, Dead Men Tell No Tales is visually stunning and entertaining film with a touch of humanity filled with poignant sadness and exultant victory. Perhaps this is not the end of the POTC franchise but merely the beginning of a new adventure with a new generation. An adventure based on family, love, perseverance, courage, and new discoveries. Is this film the best in the series? No. It is the weakest? Certainly not. If this is not the end of POTC then I recommend that there be more character development on the new characters and a better fulfilling script for both the story and the dialogue.
“Find Jack Sparrow for me and relay a message, from Captain Salazar. Tell him: death will come straight for him. Will you say that to him, please?”
- Captain Salazar
Worth Seeing: 4 of 5 stars
Worth Buying: 4 of 5 stars
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Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
National Treasure (2004)
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides (2011)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
(Screenplay) Jeff Nathanson.
(Story by) Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rossio.
(Characters) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, and Jay Wolpert.
(Novel) Tim Powers.
Jerry Bruckheimer --- producer
Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr. --- executive producer
Chad Oman --- executive producer
Melissa Reid --- associate producer
Terry Rossio --- executive producer
Brigham Taylor --- executive producer
Mike Stenson --- executive producer
David Wenham --- Scarfield
Johnny Depp --- Captain Jack Sparrow
Kaya Scodelario --- Carina Smyth
Javier Bardem --- Captain Salazar
Brenton Thwaites --- Henry
Orlando Bloom --- Will Turner
Golshifteh Farahani --- Haifaa Meni
Geoffrey Rush --- Barbossa
Stephen Graham --- Scrum
Kevin McNally --- Gibbs
Goran D. Kleut --- Pirate Broom
Martin Klebba --- Marty
Adam Brown --- Cremble
James Mackay --- Maddox
Alexander Scheer --- Young Captain Teague
Robert Morgan --- Grimes
James Fraser --- Young Greenhorn
Angus Barnett --- Mullroy
Lewis McGowan --- Young Henry
Danny Kirrane --- Bollard
Rupert Raineri --- Officer Santos
Sean Lynch --- Liam - British Soldier 4
Juan Carlos Vellido --- Lieutenant Lesaro
Stephen Lopez --- Officer Moss
Rodney Afif --- Officer Madga