“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” review


The “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” official poster. Photo from IMDB.

Marketed as the final installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” is a stellar ending to one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.

Released on May 26, the fifth “Pirates” movie brings in new characters with connections to the beloved originals.  Once again featuring Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, the two semi-enemies eventually reunite for one final adventure to find Poseidon’s all-powerful trident, both trying to escape the clutches of the evil Captain Salazar, portrayed by Javier Bardem.  They are joined by Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth, both new characters on a hunt for their father.

Though each of the “Pirates” movies have featured stunning visual effects, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” arguably has the most complex and rewarding special effects of the franchise.  Captain Salazar and his cursed crew are ghosts, with missing limbs or torsos.  Salazar in particular is missing the back half of his head, and his hair floats around eerily.  Hats-off to the team behind the effects, which really make the movie more riveting and believable.

The movie also reunites the three main leads of the first film, “The Curse of the Black Pearl.”  The amount of screen time given to Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley may be disappointing to some fans, but their few moments are incredibly meaningful and Bloom’s first appearance helps set the plot in motion.  However, Depp is back for the whole film, bringing to life once again Captain Jack Sparrow.  Depp is allowed more witty comments and makes Sparrow quite relatable at some points.

Despite the incredible visual effects and the talent of the cast, there are a few complaints to be noted.  At random times, the camera would zoom in unnecessarily, which seemed quite amateur.  The climactic scene was somewhat of a letdown, albeit only slightly.  However these minor errors can be overlooked based on the positives of the film, which far outweigh the negatives.

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” also features surprise appearances by two recognizable British soldiers turned pirates, and even a short cameo by Paul McCartney as Sparrow’s uncle.  

Though this film is said to be the last in the “Pirates” franchise, there is no way to know for sure, but if it truly is the end to the adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” is a satisfying way to go.