After the simple yet bombastic fourth installment, the fifth one looked to kill the franchise for good, and not going out with the best bang.
Jack Sparrow must work with Will Turner’s son and the cunning Carina in order to locate Neptune’s Trident before the maniacal Salazar retrieves it.
The story goes back to the roots of the first entry of the series, where it is a mad dash for treasure with swash-buckling action scenes peppered about.
Simple is good, considering that the last four films can be made into entire books, with complicated back stories, betrayal after betrayal and lots of magical lore.
Again, this is not to say that there was never any charm in it all, but that’s exactly why this film felt rushed.
Even Sparrow’s entrance into the plot felt lazily written and boring. Sword fights were short and less intricate.
Quick shots and CGI make the action less memorable, and the ones that were trying to be memorable could not even hold a candle to even the mermaid scene from the previous entry.
What’s strange about all of this is that some of the new characters are actually interesting, if not a bit too basic. Their motivations were different, but all the more predictable.
It didn’t help though that their stories ended up intertwining with Johnny Depp’s tired performance, which is sad considering that he was once the charming face of the entire franchise, even when they took a darker turn in later films.
Even the main antagonist, played by Javier Bardem, had an interesting backstory, but too bad the script decided to make him less of a threat throughout the entire film.
Sure, Salazar may have had a nice design, but the rest of his crew was far less memorable, especially since they are all competing with the likes of Black Beard and Davy Jones.
Of all the old characters that were reintroduced into the mix, they felt less necessary to the plot, and more pandering to “Pirate” fans.
There really is not a lot to take away from this, except for that the pacing was so quick that much of the film is pretty bearable for the most part.
When it does slow down, it’s bland and pretty silly, considering that many of the other films really were trying to take themselves seriously.
A misstep for a strange series, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” might upset everyone invested in the lore of the films, or just have them forget everything that happened.
Note to directors if more movies come out of this: actually use Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer’s “He’s a Pirate” tune in the film, don’t just shoehorn it in at the end credits.