This evening my sister Linda and I enjoyed a fun movie night. We watched the 5th installment in the long running Pirates of the Caribbean series, Dead Men Tell No Tales. The appeal of a Pirates movie is that I don’t have to concentrate to keep track of plot twists. I can sit back and simply be entertained. These films are quirky and a visual delight, sure to garner my appreciation and plenty of laughs.
Dead Men Tell No Tales stars Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scoldelario, Kevin McNally and David Wenham. The action adventure film was directed by Joaquin Ronning and Espen Sandberg and carries a PG-13 rating for intense action scenes and suggestive humor. Dead Men Tell No Tales has a run time of 2 hours and 9 minutes.
In this hilarious romp of a movie, young Henry Turner (Thwaites) is determined to free his father, Will (Bloom) from the curse that keeps him lost at sea. After years of studying stories and legends about the sea, and a brief reunion with his dad on board the water bogged Flying Dutchman, Henry determines that to rescue his father he must locate Poseidon’s trident, rumored to have the ability to break all sea curses.
To find the hidden relic, Henry needs the help of the most well known pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp).
Serving with the British Royal Navy as he searches for Jack, Henry has a difficult time staying out of trouble. Thrown in the brig for insubordination, Henry is the only man to survive an attack on the ship by a band of cursed ghosts, led by Captain Salazar (Bardem). Salazar seeks the pirate as well. A young Jack Sparrow was responsible for Salazar’s ship sailing into the Devil’s Triangle, where the ship and crew were eternally cursed.
Jack and Henry meet by chance on the island of Saint Martin, where they enlist the aid of a young woman with a map only she can read. Carina Smyth (Scoldelario) has been accused of witchcraft. In reality she is an astronomer with a clever mind and sharp wit. Using the map, located in a diary left to her by her father, Carina is sure she can locate the trident.
As Captain Jack and his crew, including his loyal first mate Gibbs (McNally), team up with Henry and Carina to find the trident, they are in turn being pursued. Captain Salazar is driven by vengeance and a deep hatred of pirates. He finds Captain Barbosa (Rush), a former adversary of Jack’s, and persuades him help capture the cheeky pirate. And the British Royal Navy, led by Captain Scarfield (Wenham), wants to hang them all.
Can Henry find the trident before the pursuers catch up with them?
Linda and I enjoyed this film. We laughed, a lot. The characteristic Pirates of the Caribbean humor was there, as established in the earlier films…the one liners and innuendos, and the sight gags, including a wonderfully funny scene in which a bank is robbed, quite literally.
The special effects are always amazing. Every film has a cursed group, and this poor lot in film 5 played out well, visually, with their missing body parts. And the characters, both familiar and new, were intriguing.
Javier Bardem portrays a deliciously bad villain. And Geoffrey Rush is a joy as the self indulgent Captain Barbosa. I loved the return of Orlando Bloom as Will Turner. Watching him, I was reminded of the early Pirates movies and the love story between him and Elizabeth.
Young Turner and his companion Carina provided a return to that type of storyline, offering a hint of romance and plenty of verbal sparring. In these films, however, it is Johnny Depp who shines as the lovable, incorrigible, rum soaked Captain Jack. Depp brilliantly created Jack’s characteristic mannerisms and slightly slurred speech. It was like seeing an old friend, watching Jack again on the big screen.
In spite of all the humor and the sword fights, there were some surprisingly tender moments in Dead Men Tell No Tales. I confess to tearing up a few times. It was partly nostalgia, I think, and partly a strong sense of rightness at the end of the story.
I don’t know if there will be a 6th Pirates of the Caribbean film or not. Although this movie concluded neatly, Captain Jack has quite a loyal following who would savor another adventure with their favorite pirate. I count myself among them.