REEL BADASS REVIEW: “PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES”

YOU’VE PROBABLY HEARD AND READ THIS A MILLION TIMES, “IF YOU’RE A FAN OF THIS FRANCHISE, YOU’LL DIG IT, IF YOU AREN’T, THIS WON’T GET YOU ON BOARD”. 

This movie did a bait and switch on me. I was dreading going into this, because I’ve never been smitten with this franchise, NEver….NEVER!!!

I think the first film “Curse of the Black Pearl” was an attempt to try to recapture the magic of “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, it didn’t, in my estimation.

From there the films got more and more forgettable and unecessary.  “Dead Men Tell No Tales” when it first opens, is what feels like a silly throwback to old Chuck Jones cartoons, it seriously felt like someone had taken a forgotten Bugs Bunny, or Daffy Duck cartoon and turned into a live action treat.

That was the first maybe 15mins, after the boring prolouge that establishes the plot.  Our new Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) stand in, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) , the son of Will and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) we discover, thanks to the badly acted and dense prolouge, is looking for a ancient treasure that will break the curses of the sea, namley Will’s. Henry however realizes in order to do this he needs the help of one Jack Sparrow,  because why the frack not, so he spends the next nine years looking for him.

Meanwhile, the Elizabeth Swan stand in, Carina Smith (Kaya Scodelario), is on trial for practing witchcraft (she’s actaully an astronomer, but back then no one ever thought women were capable of doing such a thing), she has a journal from her “dead” father that will lead her to a treasure, conviently her path crosses with Henrys and wouldn’t you know it, they are after the same thing, the TRIDENT OF POSEIDON!!! Somewhere along there, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Deep),  Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and Captain Hector Barbosa )Geoffery Rush) all pop up.

Here lies my problem with the Pirates of the Carribean movies, THERE’S TOO MUCH SHIT GOING ON IN THEM!! That plot I described is just one of three MAIN PLOTS RUNNING THROUGH THE HEART OF THIS BEAST OF A MOVIE, and my biggest problem is, NONE OF THEM WERE EVER ENGAGING!!

Johnny Deep’s Jack Sparrow, which has at this point become a tired old joke, your unfunny drunk uncle keeps repeating at ever family get together, barrels through this movie on manic autopilot. He rarely gets laughs as the famous character and when he does, they are followed by something not so stellar.

The new comers here, Scodelario and Thwaites, are not very good actors and their characters don’t help. Thwaites’s Henry Turner is as bland as is father was, and has one speed throughout the movie.

I would have much rather just have this movie been about Scodelario’s Carina Smyth, depsite the fact the story doesn’t give her much to do, there is something of a cool idea buried with in the seems. Sadly though she’s relegated to the smart and sassy love interest.

The villain here, Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar, is bland. He has a okay backstory that makes you sympathize with him, but Bardem is slumming it here, and it’s obvious.

Blessed be to Geoffery Rush’s Captain Hector Barbosa, who has always been my favorite character in these films. He has in my opinon the most personality and is always a joy on screen, each time he play this role, he gives it his all and it works well and keeps me going.

It sounds like a hated this movie, and I didn’t, I like the actions scenes, and I laughed a few times and the first 15 mins that reintroduces Jack Sparrow was enough of a Chuck Jones throwback that at least for that I was engaged, overall though this was something, I knew that I didn’t need and while it showed promise in the beginning, it stalled quickly.

 

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