Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Length: 129 minutes / 2.15 hours
Part of me wishes that the title of this film were true. What I wouldn’t give to have these dead men not tell their tale of revenge. That being said, I had some hopes that this movie would help redeem the franchise after the lackluster On Stranger Tides (2011). After all, Javier Bardem has proven to be an effective villain in such films as No Country for Old Men (2007) and Skyfall (2012), so I thought he could help carry this movie as a solid antagonist. Unfortunately, even he could not save this sinking ship of a franchise.
The main problem with Dead Men Tell No Tales is that it feels rote and uninspired. Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow feels more lucky than actually talented at pirating. Granted, that was some of his charm in the previous films, but not all of it. Add to this a loose connection to the original trilogy as a vain attempt to remind the audience how great those films were, and it just highlights how bad this movie was. In fact, I felt the many overt double entendres were more groan-worthy than clever, merely pandering to the lowest common denominator. I can only assume that was why the doe-eyed and tightly bosomed Carina (Kaya Scodelario) featured into the plot so much.
In a franchise that stakes itself on wild swashbuckling action sequences, this film had maybe two of note, and even they were uninteresting at best. This movie might have been better if it picked its battles more carefully, as the plot seemed like a stone skipping along the sea: never going very deep into any single character’s arc, thus making them all seem insignificant when compiled together. If it was merely about Salazar’s (Javier Bardem) revenge, Henry’s (Brenton Thwaites) desire to break his father’s curse, or Carina’s search for treasure; then it might have been interesting. Unfortunately, it is all of these things and none of these things at the same time.
A film that proves it’s time to abandon ship on this franchise, I give Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 2.0 stars out of 5.