Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales or Salazar’s Revenge (or whatever they are calling it now) is the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Starring Johnny Depp as the legendary Captain Jack Sparrow, Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa and Javier Bardem as the villainous Salazar. If you are a fan of this franchise then you will come out of the film underwhelmed, POTC 5 could’ve been a lot better than it was, for me personally, I feel like the film definitely wasn’t terrible. The 29% rating of Rotten Tomatoes is really harsh but I can see why. If you are a fan of the franchise I can understand the frustration and disappointment this movie gives. I can understand how this film is just a re-hash of what you have already seen and I think that is why the film is rated so low.
It is important to clarify that I am not a die-hard POTC fan – I have watched them all and enjoyed the first two, but I am not a fan. For me, this fifth film is better than the fourth just because it has some continuity in the franchise.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
It starts off very well, it made me so optimistic and happy for what I was about to see. Reading some other reviews, many of the problems people had were that with the lazy writing, the lazy acting – Johnny Depp not even trying, and that the film is just what we have already seen – but I don’t necessarily agree with all of them. YES – the writing at times is poor and the story could’ve been a lot better (something I will get into later), I think because the writing wasn’t that great – it didn’t give the actors much to do, there wasn’t any depth added to their stories which made it feel as though the film is just a re-hash of what we have already seen. But I think the vision of the film was to go back to its roots, go back to its first film, of Jack running around with a young couple, and I can see why fans didn’t like that.
MY BIGGEST PROBLEM
I give POTC a rating of 6 out of 10, a B-. POTC 5 could have been amazing, it set things up that I definitely thought would be explored but my main problem with the film is the advertising. If you do not know what I mean, then the best way to explain it is the film’s title. Dead Men Tell No Tales in the USA, Salazar’s Revenge everywhere else, they weren’t sure what the film was and the advertising (from what I saw) had no mention of the main plot. Salazar almost feels as if he is a sub-plot almost shoe-horned in to give Jack something to do and give Barbossa a purpose. Bardem is fantastic in the film but all of his amazing-ness can be seen in the trailers. I don’t want to go to deep into the advertising because I think we will get into spoiler territory, but if we had seen more of Salazar and maybe less of the generic jump to your ship, jump to my ship fight the film would be better received.
PARTS OF THE FILM AND CHARACTERS
The first act of the film is good, I really liked it and then the film starts to dip, with incentives of each character becoming muddled, as they all want the trident, the trident will give them power, power is what they want for different reasons, apart from Salazar who wants revenge desperately and although he insists that he is a good man, and only kills pirates kills anyone that is in his way. Johnny Depp (for me) is fine in the film, it is the character we have come to know, he isn’t given much to do – but once again that is not his fault, so the so called “lazy acting” that is being put on his shoulders is the role he was asked to play, it is the role that has become synonymous with him. Finally the two new recruits are great, I liked them both, Henry is great in the film, his counterpart isn’t anything special in my opinion but still important to the story. The shocks in this film I saw coming, I don’t know how much to say without spoiling but what I will say is Brenton Thwaites’ (Henry’s) reason for being in the film just about works. That is something I liked about the film, they have taken over a franchise five films in and are able to use certain story lines to their effect and it just about works out, for example they are able to create a new story line for Sparrow’s compass that just about works out without seeming too stupid. The same applies for Captain Barbossa – who is once again a stand out.
Ok, so now I am going deep into spoilers. I have said so much in the spoiler free part, that this spoiler part will just add some small details.
WHAT I LIKED
The first act is amazing, I liked the way that Henry Turner was brought into the film. I normally hate when sons of character’s are brought in to save their fathers (Die Hard 5, Indiana Jones 4), but POTC does it without seeming stupid and does it in a way that isn’t forced. Every new plot the film brings in just about works without seeming stupid or maybe it was just me feeling sorry for them and giving them a free pass. Like Carina Smyth being Barbossa’s daughter, at that stage I was like “alrighty”, I had a feeling they were going down that route but because of how emotional detached I am to this franchise, I was fine with it – it never seemed too over the top or stupid. (But I did find something else annoying). I loved the end-credit scene but I do not know if it will even be explored in the future.
The biggest shock in the film I saw coming, I thought it was a possibility that Barbossa would die and then when I saw him get cut earlier on in the movie I knew they were teasing what was to come. Apart from that, the only other part of the film I really loved were the bank robbery and the guillotine part once again all coming in the start of the movie. Barbossa was amazing the film. so to was Henry Turner and Javier Bardem – he was great with what he had to work with
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE / THOUGHT COULD’VE BEEN BETTER
I have said it multiple times before, but there are so many times this film misses opportunities, it could’ve explored one character and built some development but (par Barbossa – who dies, leaving the development useless) it doesn’t do so, instead sticking with what it knows best. The main purpose of the film is to get the trident but it feels as though we have seen it multiple times before. Nothing new is learnt about Sparrow or anyone from the original franchise, expect we know see how far from grace Jack has fallen.
Here is my issue with the advertising, I thought that Orlando Bloom would have a more significant role, he just sorta just appeared at the start and the end to give a reason for a sixth film. Keira Knightley just appears randomly and I don’t think she says a word (but, I would rather have her in the film than not in it at all). I think the way they should’ve advertised the film was to have them searching for the trident, Salazar is shoehorned in to give Jack something to do. Maybe, give Salazar a direct interest in the movie instead of having him simply hate Sparrow and wanting to kill him.
And that is just one missed opportunity, the film could’ve explored more on Jack Sparrow, how he feels about the crew leaving him, how he feels about that final scene between Bloom and Knightley, how he feels when Barbossa sacrifices himself, his fr-enemy dying.
The only other issue I have is the whole stars business, by you looking at my hand that shows I’m your daddy. It was cliche, and there was no previous mention to the stars importance on Barbossa – but once again I can forgive that because this is what the writers wanted to do to try and it wasn’t there fault there was no previous mention to it