Ahoy, me harteys!
This be yer friendly reviewin' buccaneer standin' before ye, once again to show ye scallywags another shilling of an analysis.
Today, I be givin' ye land lovers another doubloon of an analysis by analyzing "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales".
Here be the rundown of this here tale (clears throat back to normal speaking voice):
Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, desperately seeks something that can break his father's curse as captain of the Flying Dutchman. The treasure he's looking for to do so...is the Trident of Poseidon. While doing so, he searches for Jack Sparrow, believing that he can help him find the trident.
Meanwhile, though, Jack Sparrow's days have been struck by a string of misfortune and failures, reducing him from the pirate he was before.
A girl named Carina Smyth, who deeply aspires to be an astrologist and horologist, is also on a quest. Having been an orphan since childhood, she deeply wants to figure out who she is and what her role in life could be. Her only clue being a diary that she believes was left to her by her father.
However, when a crew of ghostly Spaniards, lead by Captain Armando Salazar, are released from an imprisonment in the Devil's Triangle, they attack every pirate ship they come across and hunt for Jack Sparrow, who was responsible for their imprisonment and whom Salazar vows revenge on.
Now, Jack, Henry, and Carina will have to work together in order to find the Trident of Poseidon, which is the only thing that can defeat Salazar once and for all.
Will the trio find the trident? Or will Salazar have his revenge and rule the seas?
Along the way, we see the return of Hector Barbossa, and some secrets are revealed.
I wanted to make this movie part of my "Spook Spectacular" series particularly because of the film having ghosts for antagonists. And I figured to myself that since I was interested in making my review on the fifth "Pirates..." film sooner than later anyway, this would be a perfect time.
Moving on from that, I really must say that in my opinion...THIS FILM IS AWESOME!!!
I mean, yes, it isn't perfect. But still, I find this film to be marvelous.
The acting, casting, characters, and character development were as brilliant as ever, just like with the previous movies. The best of them, most definitely, were Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Bredon Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, and Javier Bardem, and their characters of Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa, Henry Turner, Carina Smyth, and Armando Salazar.
Yes, I do agree, there were some moments with Sparrow that may have been slightly cringy, mainly around the time he was trying to rob the bank of St. Martin. As the film progressed, though, I found Jack to be as fun and multidimensional as ever. He still had tons of tricks up his sleeves, was clever when he wanted to be, and was continually unpredictable. I found the condition he was in since the beginning of the film to be understandable, because when a person is plagued by consistent misfortune, it can have a large effect on that person as a whole. Jack's growing fondness for Henry and Carina also helped him to really develop throughout the film.
Likewise, I'm happy to say that Johnny Depp was able to once again prove that the role of Jack Sparrow was something he was born for. Aside from when his character was trying to rob the bank, whenever he was on the screen, he provided a lot of the best and funniest of moments in the film. He did a great job at channeling the changes Jack had obviously undergone while still maintaining why his character is loved by so many.
Geoffrey Rush's performance as Barbossa in this film was likewise quite noticeable. He not only brought a great sense of humor and wit to the character, but an instant sense of complexity and unpredictability as well. To boot, the emotions and feeling he gave off for every moment were extremely realistic, such as when Barbossa meets Salazar for the first time.
The interesting thing about Barbossa in this film is that his intentions and goals are not the most obvious, and how he plans on accomplishing his tasks leaves intrigue throughout the adventure. His character development in the entire movie was amazing too, especially when he discovers what his real treasure is (no spoilers).
Bredon Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario, and their characters of Henry and Carina, were new elements of the franchise that I found to be immediately welcoming. Even though the two characters obviously took on the same kind of roles Will and Elizabeth had in films 1-3, I admired how fresh and different Henry and Carina were from the formers, both as characters, and as the film's romantic leads. The chemistry and developing bond between Henry and Carina, and the developments of each of the two individual characters, were fun too. To boot, Thwaites and Scodelario portrayed their characters with an astounding sense of passion and commitment.
And Javier Bardem...boy, he was terrific in his portrayal of Salazar. I love how, under all of the CGI and make-up applied to him, he was able to make the character immediately compelling and three-dimensional. He gave his character a classic-villain feel, a great sense of humor, and he channelled his emotions to make his character all-the-more human. The character himself, in addition, is an intimidating force that should not be underestimated.
Speaking of which, the CGI that was incorporated in the film was amazing. Groundbreaking even. I can tell that, every step of the way, the effects team worked really hard to make the special effects excellent with a brilliant amount of passion. If I have to pick what the very best use of computer-generated effects came from, it would definitely be with Salazar and his crew, his ship, the ghostly sharks and birds, and the watery surroundings during the film's climax.
The music by Geoff Zanelli was enjoyable too. Zanelli is definitely no Klaus Badelt or Hans Zimmer, but, he gave a definite sense of trying to match the works of the former two, while at the same time, making the music his own. To boot, the music he made for the film was emotionally grappling.
Finally, it all comes down to the story by Terry Rossio and Jeff Nathanson, the screenplay by Nathanson, and the direction by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg.
Combined together, along with Johnny Depp's contributions to the script, the team was able to create a film that, while slightly flawed, was marvelously accomplished. Just like the previous films, they made the movie noticeably character-driven in an amazing way, which is one of the reasons why I love this franchise so much. The humorous spirit that the film had was what I'd like to classify as the most fun since that of the first and second film. Every joke landed with such outstanding wit and timing that you almost can't keep yourself from laughing. As a plus, the film contained breathless heart and emotion, which was enough to make the movie far from soulless. The Trident of Poseidon, and the goal to somehow defeat Salazar, were the elements that particularly helped the film stick together despite being all over the place. The cinematography that came with Ronning and Arenberg's direction helped the film be all-the-more a blast to see.
The only problems that I found in the film was that there were some story points that felt rather questionable.
For instance, there was this one moment where Jack, Henry, and Carina were captured by an old acquaintance of Jack's, who tries to force Jack to marry his sister. In all honesty, I thought that it was definitely funny, but I can't help but wonder how it had anything to do with the overall story. It was able to liven things up, but it seemed to be a bit distracting too.
In conclusion, despite having some slight flaws that make the film a little bit away from perfect, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" proves itself to be an amazingly fun and entertaining installment of the franchise, and the efforts from everyone onboard gave the movie astounding charm.
So, I rate "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
I can't wait to see the 6th installment that's in development and is set to conclude the series soon, and I hope that the cards are played right with the film.