If it is said that dead men tell no tales, how do these tales survive and circulate?
That is the question unpacked in the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, aptly titled Dead Men Tell No Tales. Once again Jack Sparrow’s past has come back for revenge, this time in the form of a cursed Spanish captain hell-bent on destroying all pirates. Jack’s only hope at survival is the Trident of Poseidon, a mythical instrument that grants the wielder control over all seas.
The only problem is that Jack isn’t the only person searching for it, and the map is hidden so well that no man can read it, making it a near impossible task. Fighting in a race against the undead Spanish, the British Navy and old friends and enemies, Captain Jack Sparrow is going to need a lot more than luck and good rum to survive.
The problem with Dead Men Tell No Tales is that it’s a lengthy movie that tries to be both a rebirth of the franchise but also to capture what was so original and exciting about the first film, Curse of the Black Pearl.
Surprisingly, this is the shortest of all Pirates films but almost seems to drag along with scenes that seem to spend time running back and forth before moving forward. There’s plenty of throwback moments (some more subtle than others) to the previous four films but the small cameos from Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan aren’t used to their full potential, which is a shame for fans excited to see them back on screen.
Newcomers Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario are instead the leading couple attempting to fi ll the shoes of Bloom and Knightley, especially Thwaites as Henry Turner, a young man who has studied curses, myths and legends of the seas and is also the son of Will and Elizabeth. There’s also an injection of modern values through Scodelario’s Carina who is a self-proclaimed woman of science and has an interest in astronomy.
But what of Captain Jack Sparrow? This time around he’s certainly living up to his drunken reputation, with a bottle of rum always close by at hand. There’s not a lot of crazy stunts and some of his jokes and comments seem a little inappropriate in some situations, which makes Johnny Depp’s popular character seem a little tired, but the surrounding cast are more than able to pick up the slack.
Fans will be mostly pleased that Dead Men Tell No Tales stems from the same vein as the original films — but with hints at even more to come despite originally being marketed as the final film of the franchise, you’ll be left to wonder at what they have left to surprise audiences with.
Have you seen the next installment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.