Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin McNally, Orlando Bloom, David Wenham, Martin Klebba, Stephen Graham
Written By: Jeff Nathanson
Directed By: Espen Sandberg, Joachim Ronning
Studio: Disney / Buena Vista
While some wish this franchise would go away, I’m the opposite. I thought it was a fun movie that put a smile on my face for the entire runtime. Dead Men Tell No Tales is loads better than the last 2 movies and if you enjoyed the past 4 movies, I have a feeling you’ll like this one too.
Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has more mystical beings after him again, this time it’s Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his ship of ghost pirates. Salazar’s ship escapes being trapped at Devil’s Triangle when Jack gives up his prized compass for a drink. It makes senses watching the movie, not me explaining it poorly. Captain Salazar and his men begin killing pirates at sea, heading straight for Jack. Meanwhile, the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Henry (Brenton Thwaites), discovers the key to freeing his father from The Flying Dutchman is to possess Poseidon’s Trident. He just needs to locate where it is; he just needs Jack’s help to do it. While Henry is trying to find Jack, he runs into young astronomer/horologist Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who’s on the run from being accused of practicing witchcraft. Thrown into the mix is Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who rules the sea these days and of course the British Navy on their tail.
Even though I didn’t mind On Stranger Tides and enjoyed it, it just didn’t feel the same as the other movies. This one felt like the original Pirates movies; in terms of action, humor and being being fun to watch. Plus the majority of the cast was back. It seemed like the only people not back for the movie were Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook sadly. I think Lee wanted to do it but not Mackenzie since he was filming his TV series. Hell, they even brought back Angus Barnett and Giles New. I think the key was having Will Turner return and have him and his family be involved with the overall plot. It would have been nice to have more of Orlando Bloom in this though, and Keira Knightley!
As much as Captain Jack Sparrow is the lead and main character, having those older characters back felt like steering the ship in the right direction. It felt comfortable having them be apart of the story, and could lead to more movies if they decide to make more. I could watch an entire series of these movies because of Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa. He’s always so damn good in these so it was a bit hard to see him perish at the end. Or so you think…I hope they don’t bring him back (again) because it just means there’s nothing at stake for these films. Of course, Johnny Depp excels at playing this character and why he keeps going back to it. Well, for a nice hefty paycheck too.
I liked the addition of Brenton Thwaites, who looks and talks like Orlando Bloom. Kaya Scodelario was a great addition as well. If they decide to do more movies, having things centered around those two would be good. Javier Bardem was creepy (of course) as Salazar. My only complaint about him is it was hard to figure out what he was saying sometimes. Felt like he was talking with food in his mouth. The twist at the end credits with Will Turner sleeping was interesting. With the loss of Barbossa, it would be great to see Davy Jones back. I’m not sure if he was really back though. They show barnacles on the ground, so does that mean he’s in his human form now? It wouldn’t make sense to bring him back in his squid like form since all curses were broken. We shall see. Captain Jack needs someone cranky to play off.
The Blu-Ray menus was a bit difficult to tell what text to select. The hover state of the text didn’t change so it was like guess-work. Should have done a different color. The extras includes a bunch of featurettes showing the making of. I particularly wanted to know how they did some of these special effects and they show you. The way they did Salazar was a mixture of practical effects and CGI. I loved the wavy hair effect they did for the character. I think studios have finally figured out what looks best on screen with the combination of practical/CGI and it just works so well. We got to see Kevin McNally diaries and seeing him go through makeup and acting. There’s a sit-down interview between Brenton and Kaya as they discuss their roles and the franchise. There’s a quick featurette on Paul McCartney’s cameo in there too. The deleted scenes weren’t that memorable and the bloopers give you a chuckle or two.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell More Tales is an entertaining movie, has lots of humor in it and feels like it belongs in the franchise. It doesn’t feel like a side story like On Stranger Tides felt like. I’m sure not everybody will like this, all depends if you loved the other 4 movies. I hope they continue to make them because they are perfect Summer movies.
Dead Man Tell More Tales: The Making of a New Adventure
Bloopers of the Caribbean
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
Bottom Line: A fun, entertaining movie that steers the franchise back into the right direction
Running Time: 129 mins