Over the years, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has built up quite the fan base, and the producers were probably relying on the popularity of the franchise to support the fifth installment of the franchise: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
The movie follows Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites from The Giver) as he searches for the trident of Poseidon so that he may free his father, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom from The Lord of the Rings franchise) with the help of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp from Edward Scissorhands) and Karen Smyth (Kaya Scodelario from Maze Runner), a young astronomer who also seeks the trident. Along the way they run into Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush from Shakespeare in Love). Besides searching for the trident, Jack is also trying to outrun the undead, Spanish pirate hunter Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem from Skyfall) who is dead set on getting revenge on Sparrow for murdering him. The film also sees the return of Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley from The Imitation Game).
The film is directed Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg.
In a subpar movie, one major stand out is the score by Hans Zimmer that has been present in every Pirates movie. The score flows seamlessly throughout the movie at just the right moments to add to the film.
Another positive in the film is the pacing. While the previous film seemed to drag at times, this installment in the franchise never really had a dull moment, and when there was it had a purpose in moving the, minimal, plot along.
Seeing Bloom and Knightley return was also a bright spot because it connected this film to the first three in a more concrete way than the one before. In addition the parallels between Will and his son were more apparent because of their inclusion. The only downside is that I would have liked for them to have a little bit more screen time.
The pirates franchise is partially known for their unique action sequences, but unfortunately none of the fight scenes in the movie really stand out. And that is saying something because there are A LOT of fights throughout the film. The only action sequence that really stands out in the my mind is the opening one, and even that is subpar to what I have come to expect from a Pirates film.
Jack Sparrow is the main staple of the franchise. Audiences fell in love with the crazy, drunk, unpredictable captain of the Black Pearl in the original movie, and continued to enjoy Depp’s portrayal throughout the other movies. However, in this installment of the series Depp seems a little off, almost as if he wasn’t able to play Sparrow to his full potential. There was just something missing from the roll that caused the film to loose intrigue because the character just wasn’t 100% there.
Since Depp brought most of the humor with him through his role, it’s no surprise that when Depp’s character isn’t all the way there, neither is the humor. There were a few funny jokes scattered throughout the film, but most of them just fell flat, and many of them would just fly over younger viewers’ heads. Now, this lack of humor is not completely due to acting, although that played a large role because a joke’s not funny if the delivery is off, but mainly due to how bad the jokes were. I’m sure the actors tried to do their best with what they were given, but nothing really translated well on screen.
And The Ugly
The Pirates franchise is not particularly known for the acting, but this movie took the cake. All around, the acting was not good. Everything seemed to be overdone, as can often happen with such a big budget film, and unnecessarily dramatic. Not everything said in a film has to be the most dramatic and important thing ever, so all lines shouldn’t be treated that way by actors. I can honestly say that the performance i was most impressed by was Keira Knightley’s and she didn’t even talk.
Now, part of the terrible acting may have had to do with the dialogue. The dialogue is not good in this film and it doesn’t really seem to have purpose half of the time. They repeat the same thing at least ten times throughout the film (literally they just told you the plot of the film like ten times), and most of the time the dialogue felt like really bad filler used to connect sub-par action sequences. The only bright side to the dialogue is when it is said by people with nice British accents.
Since most of the dialogue seemed to only serve the purpose of talking about the plot, let’s talk about the plot. It isn’t that they wasn’t one, because there was, it wasn’t very good and was very simple, which I guess they thought they could get away with since the film is mostly action sequences. But the villains just didn’t make sense with the rest of the movie. One of the reasons the original trilogy was so great was because of the villains be it in the form of Davy Jones, or the British navy. However, while the British navy was in the film, they were just there, serving no real purpose, so the movie lacked the witty back and forth between Sparrow and the soldiers that fans have come to love.
Considering the fact that the big bad of the movie needed to be mostly CGI, you would expect the special effects to be really stunning (also considering the huge budget this movie probably had), but they don’t seem to work as well as they need to and sometimes just felt useless. The special effects were really obvious and didn’t flow seamlessly into the film. And seriously, what was the point of having a bad guy that was literally 2 pieces of floating CGI skin?!?!
Movie Tip: If you end up going to see this film and are a fan of the original three, I would recommend staying until after the credits for the end credits scene. (If you count this scene Bloom and Knightley have three and two scens respectively).
Overall I give Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales a 3/10 stars. Seriously, only see this movie if you are a die-hard Pirates fan. Use the money to see something better.