Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Who is still watching these movies? I mean, besides me on a plane. Because even this one made enough money to justify another one.

As with all the other Pirates movies, Dead Men follows the familiar formula. Some sea demon from Jack Sparrow’s past is coming back to murder him/collect on a debt. They are unstoppable except for some Macguffin the heroes must find to even the odds. Rinse, repeat, find a new famous actor to play the bad guy. Today it’s Javier Bardem’s turn as the delightful Captain Salazar, a Spanish pirate hunter outwitted by Sparrow in his youth whose undead crew survives on pure rage. Killing them requires something ridiculous: finding Poseidon’s trident.

I found myself oddly appreciating this film. Because it is impressively bad. The shots are sweeping and glorious. Vistas, landscapes, literal ships – it’s quite gorgeous at times. A pirate crew drags an entire building around a town at one point. Lots of great practical effects in there.

And then we get to everything else. The story, the new characters, the dialogue, the acting – I feel bad for the new young, hot actors trying their hand at a big budget movie. Acting across from people literally cashing it in. It’s another adventure of the week, one that doesn’t even really need Johnny Depp. Because the real main story line is Will Turner’s son trying to save him from the Dutchman’s curse. He thinks he needs Jack Sparrow to find the trident but he really doesn’t. Sparrow is basically a goofy side character in his own movie. It’s embarrassing.

Don’t see it. They don’t need any more money.

.5 out of 4 stars.


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