Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was one of the movies I happened to miss this summer so when it was available to watch digitally I was so excited. This was one of the movies I actually wanted to see and I was a little disheartened to see that it got subpar reviews. People didn’t say it was bad but they didn’t say it was great either. So I watched it apprehensively. I figured it would be enjoyable, to a certain extent, because Disney doesn’t make absolutely terrible movies, but would it be able to stack up to the success of some its predecessors? And I’m glad to say I came from the movie with a nod and a smile on my face. It was good, it wasn’t great, but I did like certain aspects of the film. So, with that, let me start this review.
Spoiler Alert! This review is going to be chock full of spoilers so if you haven’t seen it yet and you would rather stay in the dark about the movie’s events then I suggest you read no further. Thank you and I hope you enjoy.
This new Pirates of the Caribbean film had one of the more compelling stories of the series. The main gist of the film was that when a Spanish captain who despised pirates with every bit of his being was defeated by Jack Sparrow he, in the event of turning into a ghost of sorts, vowed to get revenge on the rascally pirate. And so when a British ship fell into his domain he killed everyone on board except for Henry Turner, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann’s son, and told him to relay a message to Jack Sparrow that “Death” was going to find him.
Now, this was a great portion of the story that had a lot of implications of turning this into the best Pirates of the Caribbean movie yet, here was the thing though. This storyline was slightly lost in the midst of a whole bunch of other plotlines for the movie.
One, you had Captain Salazar, the revenge-seeking pirate wanting to find Jack Sparrow.
Then you had Henry Turner whose life goal was to lift the curse from his father and the only way that could be achieved was for him to find this Trident of Poseidon.
Then there was the astronomer, Carina Smyth, whose purpose was to follow the stars which would then lead her to the Trident as well and would help her find father (who ended up being Captain Hector.) Or at least, I think that was her storyline in the movie. It was rather confusing because there was so much going on at so quick a pace.
Third, you’ve got Captain Hector wanting to help Jack Sparrow in his fight against the literally deadly Captain Salazar because the ghost captain has destroyed a bunch of his fleet. And he finds, even more, an incentive to help Jack when he sees that his long-lost daughter, Carina is with him.
And then finally you’ve got Jack Sparrow who is a bit down and out and has kind of been thrust on this adventure for the Trident simply so that he can save his own skin from an old enemy. And all of this is going on with the British chasing him along with Henry and Carina for their crimes (Henry is wanted for cowardice, Carina for witchery, and Jack is wanted of course because he’s just simply a pirate.)
There is a lot going on in this movie and it can be very confusing. If you have never watched Pirates of the Caribbean I suggest you don’t watch this film until you’ve at least seen the first three because there are so many references to the other movies that you will be utterly lost watching this film. And that’s the main problem with this movie.
When Star Wars returned with The Force Awakens they made it where if you’ve never seen Star Wars before until that time it didn’t matter because this was a brand new story with new characters and new situations. There were, of course, nods to the other films but people who have no idea about the earlier films wouldn’t feel left out. Pirates of the Caribbean Five didn’t do that. I’ve seen the first three films a few years ago and I was even a little confused by all of the cameos and nods to the previous film. And because there were so many plotlines for each character it was kind of hard to follow. The movie just felt like it was going all over the place without really honing in on one objective and one purpose.
And they wanted to give this film a little emotional weight so they had Captain Hector give his life to save his daughter from Captain Salazar at the end of the film and I felt that it wasn’t a shocking blow. The way he died, they tried to make it a really sad moment, but it ended up kind of being the corniest part of the film. Now if Jack Sparrow had sacrificed himself that might’ve made me tear up a tad but I don’t care about Hector so they didn’t have to make his death so grand and heroic. That was really the worst moment in the movie.
Now the action was superb and it was really the movie’s only saving grace, well that and the humor and the characters. I enjoyed the newcomers. I liked Henry Turner’s innocent charm throughout the movie, I liked Carina because she wasn’t a damsel in distress, she had a purpose in the film and she had a progressive role as an astronomer which, in those days, made you a witch if you were a woman. And then there was Jack Sparrow and who doesn’t love Jack Sparrow’s slurring, messy self. He provided, I’d say, 90% of the movie’s humor and it was fun watching him partake in this crazy adventure.
The story was a little jumbled, yes, but it did have a satisfactory ending, for they were able to obtain the trident and lift everyone in the world’s curses. That meant that Will was free of his curse and he was able to be a regular man again which was a nice surprise and it was a very touching moment. Especially when he saw Elizabeth again. It was really sweet.
And yes, if you’re wondering, there was an end credit scene so if you do watch this film I advise you to watch the entire credits until the end. It will be totally worth it.
My Conclusion of the Film
First off if you have children and you’re wondering if this film is something that they can watch I have to provide a little caution. This Pirates of the Caribbean film is definitely the most violent and scariest of the series and so if you’re fine exposing your children to some pretty startling images then this movie is one you should watch with the kids.
Now, in terms of my feelings on the movie, I would give it an 86 out of 100 and 3.5 out of 5 stars simply because the movie was so confusing at times. There was just too much going on at one time and there was so much content packed into two hours that by the time the end came I thought there would be more.
My favorite installment in the series is still the second one and I’d have to say this is my third favorite one behind the first Pirates of the Caribbean film. It was enjoyable but it was messily made.
Well, I thank you for reading this review and I hope you’ve enjoyed. Until next time have a beautiful day.