"C'mon boys – they've got parts for us at the theme park if we hurry! Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) leads his group of cursed sailors in an attack against Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, not pictured) in a scene from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES. Credit: © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. 


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Johnny Depp, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya ScodelarioJavier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin R. McNally, David Wenham, Stephen Graham and Golshifteh Farahani

WRITER(S): Jeff Natahanson 

DIRECTOR(S): Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg 


HERE'S THE STORY: Hey, you remember Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), right? He's the charismatic swashbuckling pirate who always seems to find a way to weasel his way out of trouble, no matter how much trouble he gets in. What he doesn't know, however, is why Henry (Brenton Thwaites) is looking for him. Well, Henry is the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), Sparrow's former associate who is now cursed to life trapped aboard The Flying Dutchman. Looking to break his father's curse, Henry learns that there is one man who might be able to help him? And who do you think that man is?

Meanwhile, there Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) is getting ready to be tried for witchcraft – being an astronomer is apparently enough to be called a witch at this point in history – trying to find "the map that no man can read" in order to find the most mythical treasure in all the ocean: the trident of Poseidon. You see, Carina is also missing her father and thinks that the trident can help her. 

Unfortunately for all three of them, there is someone else looking for the trident: Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), the cursed anti-pirate ship crusader that Sparrow doomed to a life as a ghost years ago. Killing ships left and right, Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush) knows he is next, unless he can make a deal ...

And this is where our story begins ...

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Johnny Depp fans; people who enjoyed the first two Pirates of the Caribbean movies; people who like summer popcorn action fairy tales

WHO WON'T (OR SHOULDN'T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who have never cared about a Pirates of the Caribbean movie; those seeking something other than standard Disney-branded adventure fare

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? Here are two very simple questions you should ask yourself before deciding whether or not to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: [1] Did you like the first two movies and [2] Do you like Johnny Depp? If the answer to those questions is yes, you'll enjoy this fifth – yes, FIFTH – installment of the franchise.

If you are on the fence otherwise, it might be best to stay on the docks – because while the film offers a return-to-form of sorts for the franchise, there is nothing essentially new going on that you haven't seen before.

Don't get me wrong – Dead Men Tell No Tales features some great visuals, a strong villainous performance from Bardem and a more-or-less not too convoluted story that ties up most of its loose ends well ... But then again, knowing that MORE sequels are coming, you'll need a Fast & Furious-level enthusiasm to get excited about Dead Men Tell No Tales because while the franchise shows it still has life in it, it rarely strays from its more-of-the-same nature. Thwaites and Scodelario are essentially Bloom and Kiera Knightley's characters all over again, there's still a "I have daddy issues" character (we get two for the price of one ticket here!) ... And there are still far too many predictable moments (guess who falls in love???). On a positive note, the film is becoming a more self aware in at least addressing these things ... But not enough).

Thus, as Hollywood continues its trend of sequel upon sequel or movies that have connections to other franchises, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales puts enough repair to fix what got very broken in its third and fourth installments ... But doesn't go very far to add anything new like the aforementioned Fast & Furious franchise to make it appeal to a wider/newer audience. In other words, it's solid, but it's very familiar. 

At least this time it doesn't have that "cast overboard" feeling, though, so that's a victory in and of itself. 



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