Dead Men Tell No Tales Review

Dead Men Tell No Tales Review
Dead Men Tell No Tales Review
Author

24 May, 2017

Ah, it doesn't really matter.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens in Australia on Thursday.

"Dan Jolin, Empire: "...even the once-reliable Johnny can't distract us like he used to.

I mean, we're not talking about the "Star Wars" or "Alien" or Marvel Universe timelines here. The movie is overly busy and nearly desperately frantic (although thankfully not as headache-inducing as, say, the Transformers torture-fests), full of twists and turns that ultimately mean nearly nothing and pretty much lead right back to where we started. Are there fan-driven "Cons" populated by devoted Sparrow-Heads, with Barbossa costume contests and couples dressed as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann?

Thankfully, an elegant end steers the fifth Caribbean movie back on course.

It's been six years since Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides came out, and to tell the truth, probably the only reason the franchise stayed alive in the public consciousness since then was due to all the troubles surrounding the production of the newest entry in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

But even if you haven't seen any of the previous entries in this initially entertaining but sometimes overblown and sometimes meandering Disney moneymaker, "Dead Men" works well enough as a stand-alone, swashbuckling comedic spectacle, thanks to the terrific performances, some ingenious practical effects, impressive CGI and a steady diet of PG-13 dialogue peppered with not particularly sophisticated but (I have to admit) fairly amusing sexual innuendo. Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, two Norwegian filmmakers behind Bandidas and Kon-Tiki (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film), the movie has a great balance of fantastical horror, humor, action, romance, and plenty of surprises. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" drops anchor in US theaters on May 26, 2017.

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So here's your plot, such as it is.

The film also introduces former Home and Away star Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner who was played by English actor Orlando Bloom in the earlier films. Henry meets Carina, who is also after the Trident. As it is, POTC5 lives up to the cheerfully nonsensical but fun spirit of the franchise, but you can't help feeling that it really is time to let the Sparrow rest and enjoy his rum in peace. Oh, and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) shows up as well, obviously.

At the centre of it all is a certain pirate called Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who pretty much just bungles around willy-nilly, somehow managing to remain in the eye of the storm, unharmed, no matter what happens around him.

All the talk of curses and revenge and magical maps is the movie equivalent of roadies stacking the amps for the pyrotechnics to follow.

Another key player is Javier Bardem's villainous Captain Salazar. Bardem's Salazar is a genuinely frightening creation.

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all new Pirates movie. This time around he's being pursued by Captain Armando Salazar, a ghost from Captain Jack's past.


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