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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales: Time for Jack Sparrow to Abandon Ship

  • Geoffrey RushJavier Bardem...
  • 3DAction & Adventure...
  • Espen SandbergJoachim Rønning
reviewed by
Marija Djurovic
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Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales: Time for Jack Sparrow to Abandon Ship

Johnny Depp returns as the eccentric, slurring and calculating Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney’s fifth installment in the highly lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. While watching Mr. Depp onscreen is never boring, it seems that the infamous character, as well the story itself, is now running on empty fumes, with Dead Men Tell No Tales failing to recapture the ingenuity, humor and the heart of the earlier films.

Introducing new characters to the now-bloated and repetitive deep-sea adventure platform, the film follows Henry Turner (Thwaites); a young man, who has been on the search of Poseidon’s long-lost trident – a tool that gives its handler power over the seas- which, if found, Turner believes will finally free his dead father, Will Turner (Bloom), from an ominous curse that has him lying on the bottom of the sea along with the rest of his crew. Also on the search for the powerful trident is Carina Smith (Scodelario); an astronomer who uses the stars to guide her to the hidden treasure.

Of course, they are not the only ones hoping to get hold of the weapon, with the undead Captain Armando Salzar (Bardem) and his crew of ghostly creatures also hoping to acquire the trident, which will finally break their ‘undead’ curse. In addition, Captain Salzar is also dogged by the idea of finding Sparrow (Depp) in order to take revenge on the pirate who was responsible for his demise long ago. Meanwhile, Sparrow’s former rival and now ally, Captain Hector Barbosa (Rush), decides to travel out and confront Salzar, promising to deliver Sparrow in order to avoid angering him further. Teaming up together for the mission, Henry, Carina and Jack soon set out to find the trident and lift the curses before it ends up in the wrong hands.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is the shortest in length of all of the previous installments, but it somehow feels the longest. The script comes across as unimaginative and bland, while most of the material seems like it was recycled from the previous films. Nothing feels new or original about the story’s structure, though to its credit, it is slightly easier to follow than the other previous installments.

With the exception of Bardem, who brings much-needed freshness to the screen, the main problem lies with the characters, Thwaites’ and Scodelario’s in particular, who fail make an impression with their on-screen dynamic; coming across as unnatural and forced. Meanwhile, Depp’s turn as the infamous Jack Sparrow, a character we thought we would never grow tired of watching, has now been reduced to a repetitive mess, with the Oscar nominated actor struggling to bring versatility to his role.

Featuring plenty of action, Dead Men Tell No Tales fares a little better in the visual department with the Norwegian directing duo, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, offering plenty of goods to feast your eyes upon. However, it’s the script’s long list of shortcomings that keeps the story from ever recapturing its previous glory, leaving us to think that it is perhaps time to abandon ship, for good.

Like This? Try

POTC: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), POTC: Dead Men’s Chest (2006), POTC: At World’s End (2007)

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Although this movie was initially claimed to be the last one in the series, a sixth installment has been announced after its release.

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