Johnny Depp returns as the swashbuckling, fast-talking Captain Jack Sparrow in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
The film begins when a young boy sails to the middle of the ocean. He ties himself to a few stones and drops into the water until he hits the deck of a ship…the Flying Dutchman. The ship rises until it hits the air. Captain Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is surprised to see his son, Henry.
Henry, who has studied the myths of the sea, says he knows how to set Will free from the Flying Dutchman’s curse. For those of you who don’t remember At World’s End, Will became the new captain of the Dutchman when Jack killed Davy Jones. Will can only walk on land every 10 years. Henry says the Trident of Poseidon can reverse any curse.
When Will tells Henry that it’s just a myth, Henry vows to retrieve the trident and set his father free…with a little help from Jack. Nine years later, Jack hits rock-bottom whenhis heist to steal a bank ends with no pirate booty. While buying a drink, he is captured by redcoats and is promised execution in the morning. Did I mention he’s a target on another pirate’s list? Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his crew seek revenge on Jack for outwitting him years ago, causing him and his crew pain and imprisonment in the Devil’s Triangle.
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” is a constant joyride of thrills and laughs. It takes a true actor to keep his/her character fresh in a franchise especially after ten years, and Depp does this well. I couldn’t stop laughing at his funny phrases and animated gestures through his misadventures, just like the other films. They even show an origin story of how he got the name, Sparrow. Jack reminds me of Bugs Bunny–a trickster that, no matter how hard you try, always thinks on his feet and escapes a sticky situation.
Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have outdone themselves with this installment of the “Pirates” saga. Their vision clearly aligns with Gore Verbinski’s trilogy because of the plot, classic characters and additions of Henry (Brenton Thwaites) and Carina (Kaya Scodelario). Henry acts like Will and Carina acts like Elizabeth with her smarts and independence. They got the band back together.
Also, Rønning and Sandberg brought Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly back! Though their screen time was short, it was rewarding and a nod to the original films. Plus Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), his monkey sidekick and Paul McCartney makes an appearance. What more could you ask for?
You can toss out “The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “On Stranger Tides” because they don’t follow the magic and story of the others in the saga. If this is truly Depp’s last ride as Jack, bravo! If not, full speed ahead to Jack’s new adventure. As with every Disney flick, sit through the credits for a surprise.
Studio: Disney (2 hr 9 min.)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally, Orlando Bloom, Paul McCartney, Keira Knightley
Directors: Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg
Plot: Captain Jack Sparrow gets himself in another series of misadventures as he and his crew sail to find Poseidon’s Trident.
Final Score: A