Pirates of the Caribbean is 14 years, and five films old now with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and if there is one word that can describe this series, in a nutshell, it would be consistent. Dead Men Tell No Tales continues this with a film that is enjoyable, but not going to blow minds the way the first film did.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales tells the story of Henry Turner, Jack Sparrow, and Carina Smith as they hunt down the trident of Poseidon while evading the threat of Captain Salazar. Henry wants to save his Dad from the curse which can be cured with the trident. He finds himself in the Devil’s Triangle while he was working, where they encounter the cursed Captain Salazar who has a vendetta for Jack Sparrow, so sends Henry to get him.
Meanwhile, Jack botches a bank heist which results in an unhappy crew and his eventual arrest for piracy. His public execution party is joined by a woman of science by the name of Carina Smyth who is being hanged for witchcraft, because of you know, science. This public execution is interrupted by Henry and Gibb and the rest of Jack’s crew in a wacky and over the top way. Then as they discover they can achieve their own goals by working together, this group of misfits find the trident and stop Captain Salazar from hunting them down.
Anyone who has seen a Pirates of the Caribbean movie before will see the above as a little different, but pretty much in line with what we would expect from the series to date. That’s pretty much the theme of the whole film, it’s more of what we have seen before. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, sure some more variety would be great, but it’s consistently entertaining, funny, and with some entertaining action sequences. For the most part, the jokes land and provide plenty of laughs, but some odd choices like the sound effects when a boat expands fell flat. The plot does give a little insight into Jack Sparrow’s history as well, which is different, but the main thing that gave us was some creepy young CGI Johnny Depp action.
The acting follows the same suit, with Javier Bardem and Kaya Scodelario both putting in good performances as Salazar and Corina respectively. The regulars do what they have been doing for five movies, solid jobs, and Johnny Depp does the Johnny Depp thing we have all known since the first Pirates. His performance is getting a little old, but it’s still good enough to maintain the nature of the series. Paul McCartney makes an entertaining cameo as well keeping Jack’s musician family tree solid.
Outside of this, the visuals don’t quite live up to the excitement of previous films. There is a wonderful underwater sequence and Salazar and his crew’s appearance are great but even the elaborate botched bank job doesn’t quite live up to some of the set pieces made by previous films. Having said that the ghost shark scene may be one of the best action sequences in the series, so it does provide something new.
The Blu-Ray features are stronger than I expected. Included are the standard extra scenes, an entertaining blooper reel, and a special photo gallery that made for an interesting change of pace. But the behind the scenes features were real winners coming in bite-sized and varied pieces. My personal favourites were Javier Bardem’s insight into how he acted Captain Salazar and an entertaining look at Kevin McNally’s behind the scenes feature.
7/10 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales continues to do what the franchise has done to date. Provide a new weird bad guy, a few great laughs, and some consistent entertainment. Despite being the worst Pirates of the Caribbean film to date, it’s still an entertaining flick that will be enjoyed by any fans of the films to date.