This is a bad film and I’ve had enough. I have said before, in many different forums, that the bane of my existence is bad, bloated and over-budgeted blockbusters. The new Pirates movie has done nothing to rid me of this feeling. I often make exaggerated statements to emphasise a point or sometimes just for fun, however I want to make sure you all know I mean this with complete sincerity. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is THE WORST film I have ever seen in a cinema.
Everything I’m about to say is told to us within the first 30 minutes. No, seriously it is.
Right, let’s do this. Will Turner’s (remember him?) son, Henry, joins the navy to be at sea like his dad and try to find a way to free his father from his cursed life on The Flying Dutchman. To do so he needs the Trident of Poseidon, so of course he needs to find Captain Jack Sparrow (this is never explained why specifically Jack is the man for the job). Jack at this point is washed up and stuck on land trying to steal cash in exceedingly complicated and stupid ways. Henry isn’t the only new face, we have Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smith who (SHOCK HORROR) actually uses her brain, as an astronomer, and therefore is thought to be a witch in a series of misunderstandings that are both very not funny and boring at the same time.
Stop me when this sounds familiar. A group of pirates trapped by Jack Sparrow for eternal death seek freedom by the hands of a young and boistrous woman, her plucky and obviously in love male friend with help/hinderance from Captain Jack and Barbosa. HOW WAS THIS FILM COMMISSIONED!!!! It’s EXACTLY the same plot as the original, except now the bad guys are Spanish.
The plot is so convoluted and stupid with sub-plots and plot holes overtaking the main storyline for extended periods. Halfway through I was reminded about the main storyline and was genuinely surprised and forgot what we were meant to be doing. This was the moment I knew that I was going to hate this film. Anything that loses my attention to such a degree must be staggeringly bad.
Cast and Performances
The new leads aren’t funny, charismatic or engaging. They don’t look like they’re enjoying any moment of this film and have about as much chemistry as a physics lesson. Brenton Thwaites as Henry gives one of the most bland portrayals of a human male ever depicted on screen. Every time the film tries to remind us that Henry and Carina are supposed to be falling in love the conversation goes as follows;
H: ‘Nice work with [last action scene].’
C: ‘Thanks, I didn’t need your help though.’
H: ‘Well I helped you anyway didn’t I?’
C: ‘I guess you did (wink).’
H: ‘Wow, we should do more things together.’
C: ‘Maybe, if you can remember which is port and starboard’
(They both laugh)
I wish that I was making up how boring these two are together in this film.
Villians. Every good hero needs an equally good villain. *checks notes* Ah… every mediocre hero with questionable morals needs an equally middling and not frightening counterpart to barely come into contact with and be protected with plot armor at all times. Basically, Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar has joined the pantheon of forgettable villains in Disney properties. Geoffrey Rush’s Barbosa steals every scene he’s in, so no change from the entire franchise thus far, but it’s still nowhere near enough to save this film.
Let’s talk about the Sparrow. Captain Jack is one of the most iconic film characters of the 21st century. The draw that he and actor Johnny Depp have on the box office is one of the biggest in history. People go to these films expecting to see this character take a scene and control it the way that only he can do. In this film Jack does nothing of consequence other than give his compass away for about 4 minutes. You could take him out of the film and everything would play out basically the same way. As you expect, it’s just Johnny Depp doing Jack Sparrow again. He’s going to do everything you expect and maybe mention rum every now and then.
Oh, Paul McCartney turns up for about 15 seconds. This man is part-responsible for the greatest shift in popular music history.
Finally I have something positive to say.
The music is pretty good.
That was it. Yes I could go into detail about the CGI in the film and the lighting but all it’s doing is showing, in ultra high definition, how many flaws this film has in its narrative and character structure.
If your idea of fun is watching badly made pieces of film that were made to make money as opposed to artistic intent then you’re going to love Pirates 5.
However if like me, you like underdog stories, or high Sci-Fi, epic tales of Love, Fantasy, Heroism then you should avoid this horrible, horrible film as if it had just set your house on fire and charged you for the damages.