Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Johnny Depp returns as the anti-hero Jack Sparrow in this next installment of the franchise. Jack Sparrow is down on his luck (as usual) and after his remaining crew of a handful of men desert him, he roams around town drinking or drunk. Meanwhile, a shipful of undead Spanish sailors, led by Captain Salazar (played by Javier Bardem) are waiting to take revenge on Jack Sparrow. In a flashback, later in the movie, we learn the reason for this animosity. When Jack Sparrow was a young pirate, his ship was the last survivor in an attack by Salazar’s Spanish vessel. Jack took over the ship after the pirate captain was killed and managed to escape Salazar while simultaneously causing the Spanish ship to sink and trap all the souls in the Devil’s Triangle. Jack frees the undead when he gives up his compass for liquor after which his only hope for survival is finding the fabled Trident of Poseidon. In this effort, he joins the company of a young man and a young woman.

The movie is a typical Hollywood yarn with plenty of action to keep the audience entertained. The makeup and special effects of the undead Spanish are very well done and the overall fight sequences are exciting. Furthermore, there was clearly a dedicated effort to make the props and sets realistic, as some of wealthy costumes are striking. However, the plot is held loosely by a thread. The unlikeliest of events seem to be strung together, and the Devil’s Triangle was vaguely explained — seemed to wear a bit thin that a small compass holds the mass of rocks together. Additionally, the acting is fairly generic and much of the dialogue cannot be mistaken for anything but banter. But it all works. While this movie is not going to win any awards, it is a perfect summertime movie that is entertaining for the two hours and has no hangover later.

Taking a broad view, it seems that this franchise has run its course as each movie in the sequence is ever more fantastic. Beyond a certain point, even a forgiving audience will be excused for throwing up its hands and walking away. So, if this were to be the last movie in this series, then it is a good way to end. However, if there are other movies in the pipeline, then it is likely those movies may not receive a warm welcome.