Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales be the finale film in the franchise, says I. Although I don’t believe that for a second. Disney wouldn’t let something so profitable end like this. But that didn’t stop me from making this the only Pirates of the Caribbean film I saw in theaters. Something I probably should have done sooner. After the experimental solo adventure that was On Stranger Tides, Dead Men Tell No Tales returns to its roots and addresses open ended storylines. Specifically the tragic yet hopeful end to Will and Elizabeth’s story. Their son Henry grows up to become a Royal Navy sailor obsessed with legends of the sea. Specifically the Trident of Poseidon that can end every curse at sea (where’s Aquaman when you need him?).
After entering the Devil’s Triangle, Henry encounters the least notable crew of cursed pirates yet. An undead crew with missing body parts like Barbossa’s crew, but that are unable to go on land like Davy Jones crew. Not even Javier Bardem as villain Captain Salazar is enough to make them stand out. The title comes from the ride and it also ties into Salazar keeping one shipmate alive to tell his tale. That leads him to the distinctly modernized astronomer Carina Smyth. She’s labelled a witch, but she’s the only one who can follow a map to the Titrant.
A mutual ally is found in Captain Jack Sparrow. Who’s famous compass is linked to Salazar’s fate. At this point Johnny Depp has made Jack into a bumbling caricature of his former glory. Not that any of these movies would survive without him. Together after a wacky Fast & Furious style safe scene, Jack, Henry, and Carina set sail with his sort of loyal crew. Later newly dubbed Pirate master Barbossa joins them as well. So after 5 movies, Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa, and Joshamee Gibbs are the only characters to appear in every installment. Of course Henry and Carina take Will and Elizabeth’s place as a less interesting romantic pairing. Like Henry, Carina is also related to a veteran character. One I find a bit hard to believe.
After many other ridiculous swashbuckling scenarios, the Black Pearl (and Jack the Monkey) are freed from the bottle. The water opens up to reveal the Trident and all are freed after a noble sacrifice. Orlando Bloom had it super easy appearing briefly on the Flying Dutchman and making out with Keira Knightley at the end. She doesn’t say a word and her hair is suddenly brunette, but they at least appear again in a post-credit scene that may or may not be addressed. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was probably better left untold. “Savvy.”
Preceded by: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides