Thu | Apr 25, 2019

No treasure for 'Pirates'

Published:Monday | May 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy
Down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) feels the winds of ill-fortune in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth release in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, finally sees the return of Captain Jack Sparrow. This time, Jack has found himself caught up with another adventure involving the literal demons of his past.

The deadly Captain Salazar has emerged from the mystical Devil's Triangle, hell-bent on getting his revenge on Jack. However, Jack's only hope is the legendary Poseidon's Trident, the key to warding off all curses of the sea.

That's a very simplified version of the story in Dead Men Tell No Tales, and one I would've much preferred to follow. The actual film is bloated, as it harbours more storylines than it can bear to stomach. The first half almost entirely consists of gathering the cast into one location, so the plot can get under way.

Previously, these films have excelled in having a large cast, with multiple stories, and still remaining focused. This is not the case here, as this movie fails to find its momentum.

As the movie struggles to get all the pieces together, there are a few scenes that evoke the very best of this series. One particular scene involving a guillotine is perhaps one of the cleverest moments these films have ever had.




Bright spots like these keep the film from being a complete misfire and are a welcome distraction from the film's 'plot holes', and strange characters. The next half of the film is much more entertaining. Here, the issues that plagued the film, go by the wayside, and the movie is consistently enjoyable until the credits roll. Still, this felt less like a reward for the first half's issues and more of an apology.

The hallmark cleverness and visual fortitude of the Pirates of the Caribbean films has not been present for quite some time, but creeps back in with this film. It is far from the best this series has to offer, but it is also far from the worst. Jack Sparrow, though, has never been quite so obnoxious, as it seems his charm has dissipated with age.