Saturday, June 3, 2017

[Review] Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

I'll say this about the Pirates of the Caribbean series: I've always appreciated its pure spectacle: the mythical ocean settings, the fantastical swashbuckling twists, the elaborate costuming and makeup, the smarmy villains, the bumbling charisma of Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow. While the fifth installment Dead Men Tell No Tales has its faults, it still delivers on the aforementioned elements. And no, it doesn't really add anything new, but it's still a fun and majestic nautical adventure.

Like all the Pirates films, there's A LOT going on and there are a bunch of different characters that all desire something. The gist of the plot here sees the brave young Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) and an accused witch named Carina (Kaya Scodelario) who's really a brilliant map reader and star decoder, team up with a drunker-than-usual Jack Sparrow in order to search for the Trident of Poseidon, a powerful treasure that breaks all curses. But swiftly on their trail is the ghastly, sludge-dripping Captain Salazar (played solidly by Javier Bardem).

As expected, the film flaunts some rousing setpieces, like when Sparrow's crew attempts to rob a coastal village bank, only to end up dragging the entire building with them--or the frantic encounters with nasty ghost sharks--or the epic parting of the seas during the story's climax. And there's plenty of slapstick shenanigans to go along with it, and admittedly, they drift further into cartoony territory more than ever in this one. Jack Sparrow is more reactive than proactive this time around, basically just going with the flow, or, excuse me--fumbling with the flow. But I suppose that gives the new characters Henry and Carina time to shine, as they're both very likable. Oh, and the full-pirate garbed Paul McCartney cameo is hilarious. The film's biggest hold-up is a midsection expository flashback that just seems unnecessary, doing nothing but slowing the momentum. And you can't help but notice the recycled parts this installment uses, as well as the feeling that the series is over-stretching its sails.

So yes, I'm well aware that Dead Men Tell No Tales doesn't muster up the freshness that the earlier films in this franchise possessed (it's definitely better than the fourth one though), but as I sat back in the breezy theater, escaping the heat and the headlines, I genuinely enjoyed watching this thing. So I won't even call it a guilty pleasure. Like a pirate, I regret nothing.

( 7.5/10 )

Be sure to Like Fade to Zach on Facebook!
And Follow me on Twitter: @Fade_to_Zach

No comments:

Post a Comment