If movies were just about amazing special effects then “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” would win an Oscar — hands.
But they aren’t.
And special effects can’t make up for an incomplete story.
While watching the latest installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, it gave me that feeling that something is lacking and missing from the plot.
In this latest chapter, audiences once again meet up with Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who has become known for his antics and sword fighting fueled by rum and his lack of sound judgment and reason.
After a failed bank robbery and after Sparrow’s crew leaves him, he finds himself a captain of nothing. Down on his luck, Sparrow exchanges his magical compass for a bottle of rum to drown his sorrows. This decision puts Sparrow's life in danger and causes him to be pursued by an enemy thought to be long dead — Capt. Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his crew. Sparrow’s only hope is secure the Trident of Poseidon to change his fate.
The first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, “The Curse of the Black Pearl,” was a game-changer when it was released in 2003. It had a unique story that was complemented by amazing special and computer generated effects. This combination hooked me and drew me into the story.
Over the years with subsequent sequels, the formula has reversed. These films are more about topping what the others have done visually and less on the story. Rather than creating something good with a healthy balance Disney took the opportunity to cash in and make a quick buck. I was a little hesitant about seeing this film because the others gave me such a lousy experience.
In “Dead Men Tell No Tales” that format of “cashing in” on a beloved character still rings true to a degree. It seems that more time was invested in the story than some of the other sequels. However, there are moments the plot appears to come to an abrupt halt without any reason.
The movie does, however, provide its audience with some great swashbuckling action scenes and some catchy comedic one-liners.
One such moment is when Sparrow is saved from being publicly executed. Before his execution, Sparrow is given a choice whether to be hanged or be killed by the guillotine. Sparrow remarks, “Guillotine? Sounds French. I love the French!” As he is being escorted by the guards and sees what the guillotine actually is and says, “Here is an idea, how about a good old-fashioned stoning. I’d kill to be stoned right now!”
These moments are just that, moments. They are not enough to carry the movie all the way through to the end. I know this to be true because I could hear a fellow audience member a few rows behind me snoring quite loudly.
If a pirate would see this film, I think they would say, “Shiver me timbers this movie be bad” or “Yarr, if ye see this movie ye be waiting your time.”
So take it from a pirate and seek your treasure elsewhere. Be careful to steer clear this of fool's gold when looking for a good movie to watch.
I give “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” two and a half-mustaches out of five.
This film runs 129 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content.
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