Ahoy, movie lovers!
This week we’re bringing ye not one, but two summer blockbusters for y’ argh enjoyment.
So, sit back, relax, and let me tell ye the tale of the swashbuckling movie franchise that lost its way…
What began as a beautiful, surprise of a story, adapted from a cherished theme park ride now enters its fifth chapter, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” (And I think we can all agree to pretend the fourth movie never happened.)
On this voyage, we see the beginnings of a course correction with the return of familiar faces (i.e. Orlando Bloom as Will Turner and Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann). Of course, Captain Jack Sparrow, who never left us is back again with his few remaining crew members.
Our adventure on the high sea opens with Will and Elizabeth’s son, Henry (Brenton Thwaites) whose life’s mission is to save his father, who is trapped on Davey Jones’ cursed ship, the Flying Dutchman. His plan? Find the Trident of Poseidon, a relic which possesses the power to end all maritime curses.
In the meantime, the famed (and also cursed) undead pirate hunter (who we’ve never heard of) Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) seeks his revenge for the young pirate that condemned him and his crew to the Devil’s Triangle (aka the Bermuda Triangle). I’ll give you three guesses who that is…
Add the Royal Navy, a lady scientist condemned as a witch, Captain Barbosa (plus his crew), and an actual witch to the mix, and you probably have a good idea of this movie’s weakness. It’s the same the series has flirted with since its beginnings. While the first film treads the line of overdoing the plot beautifully, the series has since piled on more and more with each incarnation.
This story may be all over the treasure map, but if you find your sea legs and hang in there, you may find a gem of character and beautiful plot points hidden among the debris. Unfortunately, most of those ideas got dragged under the ship for most of this movie.
Then there’s poor, poor Captain Barbosa (Geoffrey Rush), who fans of the series will remember had a beautiful death way, way back in movie one. This is a death scene for the ages…
And before we had a chance to mourn this wonderful character, Disney resurrected him (literally) and he was never the same again…until a wonderful, brief moment in this movie. Don’t blink, you’ll miss the moment when Barbosa returns to his pirate glory that once was.
Although it may be misplaced, it’s moments like this that give me hope for where they take the story with the next chapter (yes, there’s clearly going to be a Pirates 6…prepare yourselves). The brightest beacon for the next movie is the scientifically minded Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who is a brilliant character hidden in this hot mess of confused plots.
All in all, I think this latest Pirates tale shows promise for the next tale. It’s established strong characters and steered away from the detour that was the fourth movie. We can only hope that before this is all over, it may recapture the magic of its origins. Until then, Pirates continues to be a perfectly entertaining, if occasionally over-crowded, whale of a tale.
Posted on June 1, 2017, in Film, Review and tagged Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.