It’s really hard to believe the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise began back in 2003!
I’m sure we all remember the lasting impression Johnny Depp made with his first appearance as Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”. His bumbling but lovable pirate has become one of the most recognizable characters in film history. Sparrow returns for another adventure in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, a follow-up to the 2011 release “On Stranger Tides”. The fifth installment of the film series has Sparrow dealing with his pending hanging, and the return of the undead and cursed pirate Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), who was trapped in the Devil’s Triangle (also known as the Bermuda Triangle) years ago by Sparrow. We actually get to see Depp as a young Sparrow trapping Salazar and his ship in the Triangle, providing a bit of history for the character.
In the present, Sparrow is soon fleeing his hanging accompanied by Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), and a young woman named Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who has been unjustly accused of witchcraft. Carina is actually an astronomer, and is out to help Turner find the Trident of Poseidon, which will break the curse Turner’s dad Will has been under. After they escape hanging, Sparrow and Carina join Turner on a journey to find the Trident while being pursued by the British Royal Navy and the ghost ship of Salazar. Also entering the picture is Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), the one-legged pirate, who is Sparrow’s rival-turned-ally. The only problem is Barbossa meets with Salazar in order to form an alliance to find Sparrow to keep from being destroyed himself. In other words, all is not looking well for Sparrow and company. The film features the joyous return of Sparrow’s ship The Black Pearl, along with Barbossa’s pet monkey, which we know Sparrow fears. The film features plenty of opportunity for Sparrow to keep the witty dialogue flowing, and the character is just as fun we remember. Depp’s co-stars come off great, especially Scodelario, who is perfectly cast in the role of the clever and smart Carina.
The film features plenty of plot twists and director Joachim Ronning keeps the actors from going over-the-top, which Salazar could have easily done. Even though the film clocks in at 129 minutes, I never felt the film needed any editing. I must confess I left the theater too early and missed the bonus scene after the closing credits, so I’m warning you now to keep your seat if you want to see the final scene. After some less-than-stellar outings, this film series is back on track, thanks to the filmmakers decision to be heavily influenced by the 2003 original in both tone and script. For a fun summer adventure on the high seas, join Captain Jack Sparrow and crew for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Men Tell No Tales.”