Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

(2017)

Johnny Depp returns as bumbling pirate Captain Jack Sparrow in Disney's latest swashbuckling adventure. Oscar-winner Javier Bardem (Skyfall) co-stars at the terrifying Captain Calazar, the leader of deadly ghost sailors from the Devil's Triangle out to end every pirate at sea. From the directors of the 2012 Oscar-nominated sea adventure Kon-Tiki.... More

Jack's only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with brilliant astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario, Maze Runner) and Henry (Brenton Thwaites, The Giver), 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.Hide

Flicks Review

It's a shame when a beloved franchise coughs and splutters over the finish line. A sad desperation hangs over this final Pirates outing, no matter how hard it attempts to shake it - something like being the guy that's way too old to go clubbing, pretending all night you are actually having fun.... More

There's an overly convoluted, but interesting enough, storyline stringing together all the big set pieces. But then there's no memorable set pieces to speak of, unless you count stuff like ghost sharks jumping over a dinghy.

The fresh-faced new supporting actors eagerly accept batons from Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom - who just as eagerly hand them on - but fail to excite, with Javier Bardem's turn as the villain the most enjoyable thing in the whole film. If you enjoyed his scenery chewing in Skyfall, you'll love his shenanigans here.

Which brings me to the pile of accessories formerly known as the human known as Johnny Depp. It's hard to ignore the considerable amount of personal baggage he currently carries; but all that aside, he stinks. You'd have to be hopelessly in love with the Captain Jack character to enjoy this performance. His Monty Python-lite shtick of clumsily falling through the plot and having everything accidentally happen perfectly is still the heart of this franchise, 14 years in. And shiver me timbers, it's a tired routine, with each wacky facial expression inspiring a sadder sigh than the last.

Perhaps for at-home watching with kids old enough to handle the scariness, Dead Men Tell No Tales will be fine to have on in the background while you mostly use your phone. Giving it full attention is occasionally mildly entertaining, but mostly a dreary chore. Now, where did I put my Yellowbeard DVD...Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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The Press Reviews

  • The pacing is spot-on, the set-pieces memorable and all the characters are allowed to shine, without it ever becoming The Johnny Depp Show. Full Review

  • With so many characters to juggle, the story feels less like a coherent chain of events than a bundle of obligatory subplots. Full Review

  • Not the return to form you might have been hoping for. Its story might cover all the same beats as the 2003 original, but there’s little of that film’s spark or spirit. Full Review

  • Whatever charm and charisma Johnny Depp once had in this role is well and truly lost at sea. Full Review

  • Moves at a faster rate of knots than any Pirates film; trouble is, nothing has really been added. It’s the same soggy ride, set to a marginally preferable speed. Full Review

  • The franchise has lost a bit of its lustre with every successive installment, but never has a "Pirates" film felt this inessential, this depressingly pro forma. Full Review

  • Depp remains wholeheartedly the focus of this fifth Pirates film, and saying the character's loopy novelty has faded is like complaining that there are maggots in the below-decks gruel: You knew what you were getting when you came aboard. Full Review

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