Saturday, June 10, 2017


Last year when I went to go see ROUGE ONE, one of the trailers before the movie was a teaser for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES. My first reaction was "They made a fifth one"? When the teaser played in front of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 I vocally displayed my disgust. The company I was with quickly told me the movie was getting quite the positive buzz. I didn't believe them.

One day hanging out with a good friend of mine convinced me to see the film. From the things my friend had heard about the movie it sounded like fun. But, the early positive buzz quickly got buried under a fair share of negitive reviews. I became very "on the fence" about seeing it, so I opted out of seeing it opening weekend.

Instead, I decided to watch the first three movies at home. It had been awhile since I'd last seen Gore Verbinski's PIRATES trilogy, so I made a weekend out of it. And let me tell you, you need a weekend. I had forgotten how long DEAD MAN'S CHEST and AT WORLD'S END were? Also, I forgot how much I liked the movies! Yes, they are both long and convoluted but I'd be lying if I say that I didn't soak it all up!

Here's where I may loose some credibility, it's just how my movie brain works sometimes, but to me the original PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trilogy is Verbinski's STAR WARS of the open seas.

The enchantment of the Black Pearl reminded how mythic the Millennium Falcon was in the holy trilogy. I know he was more concerned about the precious "cargo" aboard the ship, but we know why Vader wanted the Falcon in EMPIRE! And in DEAD MAN'S CHEST, I loved the Flying Dutchmen! Davey Jones and his crew looked fantastic! I was quickly reminded of the awesome bounty hunters from EMPIRE! And finally, the opening action scene of AT WORLD'S END in my opinion is an homage to Jabba's Palace in RETURN OF THE JEDI!

Watching the first three films got me pumped for DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES that I decided to go ahead and watch the fourth entry, ON STRANGER TIDES. That movie killed my buzz. ON STRANGER TIDES is the definiton of a rushed film. 2011 was too soon to bring back Captain Jack Sparrow. Everything about the production felt bland. The Fountain of Youth is a great concept, but it's not supernatural enough and ulitmatly doesn't seem to fit in this franchise.

Needless to say I was exhausted after watching four films. I made the decision that I could wait till DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES hit Netflix, which would be about 6 months from now.

A few days later I met my friend again at Barnes & Noble. We talked about geek stuff that we normally do, but we mostly discussed the PIRATES franchise. He had seen DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES twice already and said that I should see the film! This is why I take a critic's opinion and RT percentage with a grain of salt. My friends recommendation got me pumped again. Don't get that confused with me thinking I am about to witness the greatest summer movie of 2017? If I decided to see DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, I knew pretty much what to expect.

So upon my friends recommendation I watched PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, and I liked it. It's not as good any of the Verbinski films, but it's a whole lot better than the garbage that is ON STRANGER TIDES.

For the fifth adventure of Captain Jack Sparrow we have Henry Turner (all grown up now), son of Will Turner looking for Poseidon's Trident. Legend has it that the trident can break any and all curses of the sea. Henry finds the trident and no longer will his father be bound to captain the Flying Dutchman.

Aboard a British vessel pursuing a pirate ship Henry meets Captain Salazar, a ghost of the sea trapped in the Devil's Triangle. To save his own life Henry tells Salazar he knows Jack Sparrow. Salazar wants revenge and Jack's famous compass.

Henry finds Sparrow, and with the aid of young scientist Carina Smyth, our three adventures are off to find Poseidon's Trident

The movie was entertaining but like I said not as good as any of the original trilogy installments. For a fifth film in a franchise I am amazed that the special effects are still awesome! Captain Salazar and his crew are pretty creepy.

And yes, Johnny Depp is adding nothing new to Captain Jack Sparrow. But you know what, I love slapstick and Depp delivers in that department!

Here's what I didn't care for:

The characters of Henry Turner and Carina Smyth are pretty bland. In someways I am not surprised because this has been a problem since the sequels. In DEAD MANS CHEST and more so in AT WORLD'S END, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan became cardboard for the most part. And in ON STRANGER TIDES those supporting characters we're even more cardboard and completely forgettable.

This next complaint is a spoiler so if you're wanting to see the movie stop reading and go see it, I recommend it.

My final complaint is Captain Barbossa. It has nothing to do with Geoffrey Rush's performance, it's great every time! My problem is that they killed off his character, again. Yes, I am sure it is because this film is meant to be the last one. But you all know as well as I do that if DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES makes a lot of money then they'll make another one. And I'm sure they'll bring back Barbossa, again?

Oops, one more complaint. The post-credit scene completely contradicts the film. How can Davey Jones come back all octopus like when all the curses of the sea have been broken? Maybe it was just a nightmare? Yeah, of course it was...

In conclusion, I recommend PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES. If you're a fan of the franchise then you've probably seen it. If you were turned off by the last film, give this one a shot, it's a well earned redemption. And do I think this should be the last adventure of Captain Jack Sparrow? Yeah, I think it's time.

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