• Guy Jeffries

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Review


Director: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg

Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Stephen Graham, David Wenham, Martin Klebba, Angus Barnett, Giles New, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Brown.

Salazar's Revenge or is it Dead Men Tell No Tales? A title that I prefer than Salazar's Revenge. Yet another cursed ghost ship hiding in the depths of the ocean. Well, this one in some caves know as the Devil's Triangle who, as expected has a score to settle with Capt. Jack. It's a gently comeback for the franchise, hopefully resurrection the admiration from the first trilogy.

It's been 14 years since Depp first boarded as Captain Jack Sparrow in Verbinski's epic, swashbuckling trilogy and interestingly 6 years since it's last instalment. I think many of us that fell in love with the drunken pirate, at one stage would have agreed with Depp in him wanting to play the part more than several times but I think by the end of the World's End most of that many had, had enough. On Stranger Tides was certainly a groggier version of the franchise and surely should have sunk the series, however, maybe the long break has made us forgive and forget, and actually go, "hmm, okay, I think I'm ready for another voyage with Captain Jack and co. again."

Judging by Henry Turner's age, I'm assuming this is roughly twenty years on from World's End with Henry, Will and Elizabeth's son now old enough to attempt to free his Dad from the Curse of the Flying Dutchman, by finding yet another hidden trinket that can break all curses of the sea. Again, why are we only hearing about this now? Anyways. Ignoring that for the moment.

There's a ghostly Spanish captain and crew confined to what is called the Devil's Triangle, which is another fancy name for the Bermuda Triangle, that supposedly claims the lives and ships or anyone who shall dare sail those waters. Now this is where the story becomes flawed for me, but maybe you can help me out. Because the act of Jack relinquishing that enchanted compass of his somehow releases Salazar's ghost ship from it's watery prison. You see, Jack's given it away, or lost it thrice before! Once to Elizabeth Swan in Dead Man's Chest, then to Turner and then Beckett At World's End and finally gives it to Gibbs On Stranger Tides. So surely this ghost ship would have come to seek their Revenge much sooner?

Bardem plays Captain Salazar brilliantly and with the added visual effects of his wavy, floaty hair as if constantly submerged in water, is an ingenious touch and possibly an attempt to match Davy Jones' tentacle beard. But no, having rewatched the previous films recently, Davy Jones is still the best visually stunning character of the whole franchise.

Depp slips back into Jack's boots quite comfortably with Bardem commenting on his impressive acting, which actually put him off during takes and made him forget his lines. Coming from an actor like Bardem! That's some compliment.

There's a familiar formula used here, with Thwaites' young Turner and Scodelario's Carina Smyth instantly reminding us of the brooding relationship between Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. Smyth being that smart, freethinking lady with a talent in horology and astronomy. Also, Barbossa returns and as ever, never 100% coming to an allegiance unless there's something in it for him. Yet adventure ensues and they all end up going after the same thing.

The directors obviously fully appreciate and admire Verbinski's creation which had set the bar high and mighty. They do well to reenact the slapstick style with a couple of hilarious and clever scenes that's Stranger Tides so lacked. The bank robbery and the guillotine scene in particular, make it worthy for me to return for a second viewing.

Zimmer steps down from composing the score due to working with Nolan on Dunkirk, but has Geoff Zanelli take over, another one of Zimmer's many protégés that works in his Californian studios. He does a fine job of bringing something fresh to the score but keeping it just close enough to the original themes. The track "My Name is Barbossa" is a perfect example, having the original anthem trickle in and out.

What does let it down is the rushed ending, that has some poor imagery, it's some of the worse CGI in the whole franchise in my opinion; and the whole thing with the compass. I can't get my head around that, so if you can explain to me, comment below or tweet me.

I think waiting a few more years to make and release this film has done it good. It's definitely an improvement on the last ship that set sail but still no way as good as the original trilogy. Though I doubt very much anyone will be able to top that and as it stands, this isn't a bad additional to the series.

Running Time: 8

The Cast: 8

Performance: 8

Direction: 8

Story: 5

Script: 8

Creativity: 7

Soundtrack: 8

Job Description: 9

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Probably

69% 7/10

Also check out:

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

#JohnnyDepp #GeoffreyRush #OrlandoBloom #KeiraKnightley #KevinMcNally #AngusBarnett #GilesNew #JoachimRønning #EspenSandberg #JavierBardem #BrentonThwaites #KayaScodelario #GolshiftehFarahani #DavidWenham #AdamBrown #PaulMcCartney #BruceSpence #RobertMorgan #GoranDKleut #GeoffZanelli #StephenGraham