Aug. 20, 2017
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Review

Damn, it feels good to be a pirate

May 25, 2017, 2:25 pm

Johnny Depp and crew are back as Captain Jack Sparrow and a bunch of bafflingly yet inextricably linked seafaring types in the newest installment of Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer’s Pirates franchise. Looks like Jack Sparrow ran afoul of a Spanish captain named Salazar (a wonderfully spooky Javier Bardem) some years ago and, as is the style of these films, that means supernatural curses for some reason and more acrobatic adventure for the likes of the formerly-also-cursed Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Henry Turner (the son of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner from previous films as played by the incredibly conventionally handsome Brenton Thwaites from Gods of Egypt) and a brilliant if brash young scientist named Carina (The Maze Runner’s Kaya Scodelario).

Young Henry wants to save his dad from service on the ghost ship Flying Dutchman, but he’ll need the fabled trident of Poseidon’s to do so. According to legend, anyone who’s got that thing is basically the king of the sea. The only catch is that to get that bad boy he’ll need a “map no man can read.” Good thing Carina is a woman (and also conveniently has the map), so they join Jack Sparrow to get that danged artifact while Salazar nips at their heels totally ready to kill everyone cause he straight crazy.

Whereas the series took a bizarre turn many films ago and chooses to favor ghosts and stuff over good old-fashioned pirating, Dead Men isn’t as bad as you’d think. This isn’t to say it’s great by any means—more like you’ll probably never find yourself bored. Depp is … fine as Sparrow, but we’ve of course grown accustomed to his Keith Richards-y bumbling and damn-near-unbelievable ability to piss off every fucking ghost and curse victim throughout the Seven Seas. Bardem is brilliant as always and actually provides a fun villain, it’s just that everything else is fairly predictable at this point. Paul McCartney’s cameo, however, is a pure delight, and we would have watched a whole movie just with him being a goofball. Still, pirates get stabbed, and what else are you doing?



+ Ghost pirates!
- Ghost pirates…

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
With Depp, Rush, Bardem, Thwaites and Scodelario
Regal, Violet Crown, PG-13, 129 min.


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