If you’re like me and have had pretty much all you can take of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow then you will likely have the same reaction I did to this marginally distracting film that was either eye-rolling or simply boring. Yep, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is too long a title, to long a movie (2 hours and 10 minutes), and is a pretty lame tale.
So, Captain Jack Sparrow, like this franchise, is out of luck. His crew leaves him after an enormous set piece involving a bank vault theft gone awry. And then it turns out his old nemesis, Captain Salazar, and his crew are out to get revenge. They also happen to all be ghosts. Then Barbossa is back, and too many other things. So the only thing that can save Jack is finding the Trident of Poseidon which gives the power to control the seas. Oh, and remove curses.
OMG, this movie is trying to get you to follow, like, five plot lines. It’s WAY too much. And Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack is reduced to a drunken buffoon uttering mildly suggestive comments through his drunken slur. There is none of the Jack Sparrow conceiving devious plans to get out of trouble. He is reduced to simply riding a wave of luck to get out of bad situations. He is ineffectual and boring.
The number of massive set pieces in this is astounding. From a pure engineering standpoint, I was fascinated by many of them. From a narrative standpoint, I was obviously taken out of the film by wondering how they did that. They didn’t add any sort of drama or anything though. I couldn’t get past the ridiculousness of most of them.
The only really good thing I could point out are the special visual effects. They are pretty fantastic. Much of those come in the form of Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar and his crew. They are ghosts and have lots of CG effects applied to them. Partial bodies, or parts of the men are missing, and especially Bardem, who always looks like he is under water. His hair moves and drifts slowly in the air around his head. It looks really cool.
However, Captian Salazar has mostly one note: he wants to kill all the pirates, and especially wants revenge on Jack Sparrow. Not much else to him. Bardem does all he can with his role, to his credit, though. It’s a shame to waste such a good actor. And yet, he, and the effects used on him and his crew, are the best things this film has to offer.
Geoffrey Rush returns as Captain Hector Barbossa, with a plot of his own, that includes Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth. It’s rather unnecessary, but allows Disney to wrap up Barbossa’s character in a tidy bow.
Brenden Thwaites is here as Henry Turner, Will Turner’s (Orlando Bloom) son grown up. Henry is trying to free his father from the curse of being trapped …oh, you know, let’s just say there’s yet another plot there.
And of course, Henry and Carina are the two young, overly beautiful people in the film. Gee, I wonder what will happen to them?
Speaking of Orlando Bloom, yes, he’s in this in two scenes. And Keira Knightley appears, in one scene, and I think has one word of dialogue.
If all the visual impressiveness could make up for the utter lack of interesting story (think Avatar) and unbearably cheesy lines, then maybe I could get on board. But with about five separate plot threads going on, a tired and completely unentertaining Johnny Depp, set pieces that are clearly designed solely to one-up the last films, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a bloated, joyless snoozefest.
Anyone over the age of 16 that likes this film is simply wrong. Or maybe has never seen any big budget summer film before. And speaking of budget – this thing cost $ 230 million to make. I see the money in the effects, but that’s it. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is crap. It’s everything that’s wrong with big Hollywood blockbusters. I hope it flops huge because that’s what it deserves.
And then they have the nerve to put a stinger scene after the credits. Yes, a SIXTH installment in this franchise is planned.
Almost two kittenhands just for Javier Bardem and the visual effects. Pass on this debacle.
~ Neil T Weakley, your average movie-goer, hasn’t seen this kind of money wasted on screen since the last Transformers movie. At least, not until the next Transformers movie this summer.