Many years ago our first movie date was to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. It quickly took a special place in our hearts and Andrew grew especially fond of the franchise. But really, who doesn't love a little history, action, bad ass pirates mixed with some rum? Unfortunately the fourth movie was a little lackluster, so we have been eagerly waiting for the fifth movie to see if it would bring back the magic. This past weekend we had a POTC movie marathon at home then went to a screening of Dead Men Tell No Tales...
Official film synopsis:
Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.
The filmmakers went back to the roots of the original trilogy by bringing back characters and successfully tied their stories into the new plot. Regarding this storyline, the writers did a great job of introducing a new villain while providing back stories and context to how some of the characters and details came to be (such as Jack’s compass and his rise to becoming a Captain).
One thing I found lacking with the 4th Pirates was the shortage of at sea action, especially since it is a movie about pirates. Dead Men Tell No Tales had the perfect mix of at sea vs on land action including a very well done at sea finale, which aligns more with the first three films. Also following in the tradition of the original trilogy was the outstanding music. I find the music of the first three, and now the final film, to be the most underrated aspect of the series. It was incredibly impactful and well timed with the action/mood of those particular scenes. There is also the perfect amount of humor, much seemed geared towards adults which we enjoyed.
It was also nice to have a real villain again. I thought Barbosa and Davey Jones were excellent antagonists but Blackbeard didn’t quite do it for me. However, Captain Salazar proved more than a worthy adversary and was much more ruthless than the previews made him out to be.
I enjoyed how At World’s End finished up the series and was nervous about how the fourth installment would relate. I feel the same way about Dead Men Tell No Tales in that it did a great job of tying up a lot of storylines and would be hard to move on from this point. This is a great book end to the series.
If I were to put the movies in my favorite order, it would be:
- Curse of the Black Pearl (1st)
- At World’s End (3rd)
- Dead Men Tell No Tales (5th)
- Dead Man’s Chest (2nd)
- On Stranger Tides (4th)
Quite frankly, no matter how hard they try, it would be near impossible to beat the original. After that, the next two are interchangeable; that is how much I enjoyed Dead Men Tell No Tales.
I had really hoped that every time we heard the release date was pushed back that it meant the producers were taking the time to do this movie right. And I think Disney did just that. Everything that lacked in the 4th movie was made up for here. I found Dead Men Tell No Tales had the perfect mix of action, humour and emotion. The scenes (can we visit these please?), costumes, effects (check out the crazy sharks!) and music were fabulous as usual. I found the story really enjoyable and well paced. There was more backstory to favorite characters and many people were brought back even if for a moment (serious goosebumps near the end). And the new characters introduced were interesting and captivating. I especially loved that the female lead was so strong and smart.
This installment really brought in a lot of the aesthetics that worked in the earlier films: a balanced cast of character personalities, a scary antagonist, magical freakin' effects, history/sea lore, action and a good dose of silly humor. There really isn't a single thing I would change and if this is the last movie of the POTC franchise I am perfectly happy with that. I feel fulfilled and inspired to cruise off with my favorite Captain and find some adventure. Or at least some rum.
This movie is best for: anyone who already enjoys the POTC franchise. You could watch this one off but we think you should have the history of the other movies to really enjoy it. We saw it in IMAX and recommend it for some of the scenes and effects. Also no young kids, although a fun series it is probably way too scary.
Visit the official movie site HERE.