CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow returns in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ (2017).
Part of what made the original “Pirates of the Caribbean” so good, is the fact that it came as a surprise and people generally had no expectations. Jack Sparrow was the loveable, drunk side character in Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan’s story, something that, more or less, continued for the second and third films.
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” fell into the same mistake that 2011’s “On Stranger Tides” did by making Jack Sparrow the central character and completely overdoing it. What made Jack Sparrow great was his use in moderation, and “Dead Men Tell No Tales” has no moderation at all.
Jack Sparrow, teaming up with Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan’s son Henry and an orphan girl, sets off on a quest to find Poseidon’s trident in order to save himself from an undead Spanish captain out for his blood.
Setting the plot of the film forward was painful. It required a series of unrealistic and almost impossible events that seemed to be a cop-out of any actually decent storytelling. This, plus a series of coincidental meetings with strangers with the exact same goal, puts the story into motion.
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” feels like a very small film. While “Pirates of the Caribbean” had beautiful, sprawling settings, lively ports and massive ships, the new addition jumped from CGI location to small-feeling ship to British township. There was no epic feeling of adventure in this film.
The film relied heavily on formulas used in past films. Jack Sparrow being drunk and funny, a Will Turner-esque character, an Elizabeth Swan-esque character, a dumb and funny pirate duo, an angry British captain and an evil, scary, supernatural enemy. These are all things that have been done in each of the previous films, and “Dead Men Tell No Tales” relied on that in the laziest way possible. There was nothing that made it unique.
There are a share of hilarious moments; the entire opening sequence is fantastic and Paul McCartney’s cameo is memorable. While other “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies had a serious tone, the new addition traded that for a slapstick comedy feeling. It paid off occasionally, but for the most part resulted in a boring and awkward movie.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is far from the spectacle that made the franchise loved. It’s overdone, poorly written and ends the series as an example of why not to drag a good thing on for five unneeded movies.