Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

  • Time: 129 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
  • Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
  • Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley


Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea – notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth, a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry, a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has never faced.


  • I couldn’t find anything really wrong with The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The story is what we’ve come to expect with characters in danger, in love, and in the water but the movie is flat. It may just be a case of Been there/ Done that but there’s very little tension although all the elements are there for it.
    Jeff Nathanson can’t be faulted for his script. There are a lot of exciting situations and escapes. One of the best is the first with the pirates trying to steal a bank but there are other hair’s-breadth escapes, battles with the bad guys, of which there are several, and close calls. The bad guys are bad guys and the good guys are good guys. There is, however, never any chance that things aren’t going to turn out any way other than what you thought they would as you were buying your ticket. Like a TV show where you know the leads aren’t going to die because they have to come back next week, this movie franchise may have hit its limit and now no matter how well done the returns are diminishing.
    Although I don’t often mention them, a great deal of credit has to go to the make-up, special effects, costumes, and the art department for dressing everything up and making it look believable. It would appear that hundreds of people were involved in these departments and they all did a fantastic job. There are no false notes hit visually anywhere.
    Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg have done a good job pacing the movie and getting good performances from everyone, especially since a great deal of this film had to have been done with green screens so the actors didn’t have had a lot to play off of.
    Johnny Depp’s character Jack Sparrow is Depp’s usual character but there was no real danger for the character because he has to be there at the end of the movie. Where Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar will be at the end of the movie is also obvious. The same can be said for the romantic leads, Brenton Thwaites’s Henry Turner and Carina Smyth played by Kaya Scodelario. They are both great looking and deserve to end up in each other’s arms. There’s a little leeway for Geoffrey Rush’s character, Capt. Hector Barbossa, but only a little because he’s been in almost all of the movies from this franchise.
    There are some actors to look for even if their characters have a predictable arch. Keep an eye out for Paul McCartney, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley.
    I give Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 3½ ships out of 5. The excitement was missing. There was never any danger to the characters. Sometimes the sum of the parts just doesn’t add up no matter how well done the parts are.

  • As Captain Armando Salazar, Javier Bardem is cracked of face and glaucomic of eye, with the darkest of blood for spittle, and hair floating around him as if he were still submerged underwater. Salazar and his ghostly crew, all of whom sport one or more missing body parts, are one of the many hunting down Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) in the surprisingly enjoyable Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales or Salazar’s Revenge (its title in international markets).

    The fifth installment of the 14-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean franchise certainly clears the low bar set by 2011’s On Stranger Tides, though it comes nowhere near the irreverent verve and sheer fun of The Curse of the Black Pearl, which introduced us to Depp’s now iconic Sparrow, the perpetually soused, charmingly lascivious, rock star-meets-pirate that was such an original creation that it nabbed Depp a slew of prizes, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The novelty has long worn off, having curdled into caricature right around 2007’s At World’s End, but Depp as Sparrow remains an ever watchable presence.

    Dead Men Tell No Tales, scripted by Jeff Nathanson, begins with young Henry Turner telling his father Will (Orlando Bloom) that he has found a way to break him from the curse that condemns him and his ship The Flying Dutchman to the bottom of the sea. The key, Will’s son insists, is finding the Trident of Poseidon, which Will tells his boy is nothing but a myth. Henry refuses to give up on bringing his father back home and, nine years later, the stars align to bring him closer to his quest.

    Just like his father, Henry (Brenton Thwaites, a wan imitation of Bloom) crosses paths with Sparrow and a young lass by the name of Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario, as plucky as Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann, though perhaps taking the role a mite too seriously), a feisty astrologist and horologist accused of witchcraft who has her own reasons for wanting to find the Trident. So does Sparrow’s former first mate Barbarossa (Geoffrey Rush), whose fleet and riches are being threatened by Salazar and his crew, who were freed from the Devil’s Triangle when Sparrow traded in his mystical compass for a drink. Barbarossa strikes an accord with Salazar: spare his men and he’ll lead him to Sparrow. Naturally, a pirate’s word holds only as long as the next double cross, so Barbarossa plays both sides, striking a deal with Sparrow to help him against Salazar if Sparrow can lead him to the Trident.

    Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, whose seafaring adventure epic Kon-Tiki was nominated for a 2012 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, don’t do much to thin the bloat that seems part and parcel of every Pirates film, but they do excel in executing set pieces that would probably translate nicely into a theme park ride. This is not necessarily a backhanded compliment: a bank robbery early in the film is a well-staged example of chaotic spectacle that would make Buster Keaton proud. The last third of the film is especially outstanding, with a glittering island and a Ten Commandments-style sequence as its highlights.

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