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

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Directors: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
PG-13 | 2h 9min | Disney | May 26, 2017

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 (Javier Bardem), 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 (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), 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 ever faced. 

Pirates you're back! After the complete travesty that was Stranger Tides and At World's End, Dead Men Tell No Tales comes back with a vengeance. It falls back to a complex but easy to follow storyline that keeps you intrigued. If I'm being honest, however, which I always try to do, I could have easily done without Jack Sparrow. I'm not sure why, or what was different about this film but the way that character was presented was incredibly different than what we're used to. The voice, the classic lines, they all weren't delivered with the familiarity of the Jack Sparrow that became an icon.

What I will say is that the new cast made up for it. Brenton Twaites was exceptional as Will & Elizabeth Turner's son. I have to admit it was the draw of this storyline that pulled me into seeing the movie to begin with. Physically he was a perfect combination of both but his acting was great and there were definite moments where he just oozed this 'Will Turner' vibe from the first film. Any true POTC fangirl would appreciate.

Kaya Scodelario was also exceptional as Astronomer Carina Smyth. We spend the movie wondering who this young scientist's father is (and you guess and guess) and the reveal is sort of an anti-climax because while the reveal was surprising and made for a beautiful moment within the film, I though the realisation on both ends would have been a bit more shock factor and a bit less... well, how it was.

I am also not sure why Henry Turner's identity was kept a secret so long in the media. Because, unlike in the original Pirates of the Caribbean, we learn who Henry is within the first few minutes of the film. It was never some huge secret that he is Will's son, in fact, he tells Jack immediately. It may have added an additional layer of intrigue to the film if that was kept a secret a little bit longer, at least from the other characters.

Over all I was impressed, this was the POTC sequel that we all deserved. It could have been improved certainly but it had be intrigued and certainly left me wanting more which I can say, Stranger Tides certainly did not.