With the release of THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL in 2003, the start of a new, successful franchise ignited. And to date, one of the biggest and most powerful series for Disney Studios. With much power fueled by its following, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN became a game-changing, cinematic thrill ride that not only presented some of the best entertainment in adventurous storytelling, but also some of the most dark yet, vibrant, charismatic, and fun-filled characters to bless the silver screen. The obvious, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow! With DEAD MAN’S CHEST (2006), AT WORLD’S END (2007), and ON STRANGER TIDES (2011), the entire series earned itself clout as one of the most anticipated sequels.
After walking the plank 4 times, never did the series seem to take a Sparrow-like hobble. Nope. The PIRATES keep coming in and docking with more tales. Here we are in 2017 and its 5th film not only generates the anticipation all others did, but gives us something fresh and exciting to look forward to. Now, the tide brings in DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES. A chapter that finds down-on-his-luck Capt. Sparrow (Johnny Depp) feeling the lesser side of ill fortune when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying tyrant Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle hellbent on killing every pirate at sea – mainly Sparrow. (Of course) Sparrow’s only hope of any survival lies within the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to obtain it he must work up a reluctant alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant, beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. A unique bond and journey that surely brings in heavy waves and storms of complexities.
I’m a happy matey and that’s all that matters! The best thing about this film is we get the Jack Sparrow origin story. That alone gives it a pass for everyone to enjoy it. Seriously, how can it not? It’s kinda what we’ve all been “waiting” for. However, cutting to the chase, I enjoyed this one a lot more than I did its 2011 predecessor. Yes, this franchise may be getting a little “long in the tooth,” but if the franchise can continue to provide well-staged scenes and action-packed set pieces, continue to bring back Jack Sparrow. Don’t mind it at all. The backbone for this sequel had to be Javier Bardem. His usual grit provided a fantastic, menacing villain. One that leaves quite a mark whenever he appears. Not just with Sparrow, but giving everyone a frightening runaround. At a run that goes just a bit over 2 hours, the savage sail starts as soon as the film begins. Rocking itself from side-to-side with its gorgeous scenery and monstrous appearance, one is way too involved within the realm of the story to get seasick. I don’t see fans of the series being disappointed. DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, as whole, took a giant step up as it brought back the fun, adventurous mythology we fell in love with back in 2003.
Grade: A / Genre: Action-Aventure, Sequel / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 2:15
Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Orlando Bloom, Kaya Scodelario, Brenton Thwaites, Geoffrey Rush
Directed by: Espen Sandberg, Joachim Ronning