Mediocre but Entertaining | Review of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’

By Cynthia Ayala

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales starring Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley & Geoffrey Rush Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Image Credit: IMDB

“Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon while being pursued by an undead sea captain and his crew.”


Yet another Pirates film. I missed out On Stranger Tides, although I was told I didn’t miss anything considering it was terrible. Not that I was surprised. But considering this film was returning to its roots with a ghost story, well I thought I would give it a try. What did a get? Just more of the same, nothing new, nothing fresh, only mediocrity.

Maybe that’s being a little harsh but to me, the reason the first film was such a success was that the story was simple. Cursed gold, undead pirates, saving a damsel in distress. There were not two stories going on at once, it was one singular story, straight and simple and it devoted a lot of time to developing the villain. That’s probably what upset me the most about this film. Here you have Javier Bardem, an amazing actor and he’s playing a ghost pirate. There are no fun antics between him and the pirates, he’s a very serious villain and there is so much that could have been done with him. Except the film spent most of its time cramming all this other stuff into the film to tell the story. The story is stretching in all these other directions to remark on a sea tale, and that didn’t work out at all. It just delivered a mediocre story that lost is substantiality. It was a sinking ship.

Now while the story was mediocre at best, the film was still entertaining for the laughs. But only to a point. The jokes weren’t dragged out like they were in Dead Man’s Chest, but they also weren’t fresh jokes either. They were just more of the same antics. Johnny Depp plays Jack Sparrow, a drunkard pirate with tons of luck. Although in the beginning here he’s a little down on his luck. A selfish pirate with some decency inside him. As amusing as it was to see him again in this role, it wasn’t new. Five movies later the character is just the same, a rum-drunk-pirate. So as entertaining as it was to watch, there wasn’t anything new about the film. Other than the two new characters. I will say this; Henry and Carina are characters in their own right and not rehashed versions of Will and Elizabeth. Sure, their romance seems a bit forced, as if that’s what every pirate’s film requires, but the actors had the chemistry to pull it off and make sure their relationship was believable.

This is just one franchise that had been slowly sinking for a while now. No amount of Johnny Depp or actors like Javier Bardem can save it. But if you want a good laugh, check it out. It might be mediocre but at least it’s fun. (★★☆☆ | C)

—Film Credits—

Directed by Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg

Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson

Story by Jeff Nathanson & Terry Rossio

Based on Pirates of the Caribbean by Walt Disney

Characters created by Ted Elliott Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie & Jay Wolpert

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley & Geoffrey Rush

Rating | Length | Genre: PG-13 | 2h 9min | ActionAdventureFantasy

Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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