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'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' film review

'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' film review

I have a question: why do they keep making these? Either way, 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' came out, but for some unexplained, unknown reason it has been marketed as 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge' in the UK. Look, I tried to be realistic walking into this film. The quality of these films went rapidly downhill after the brilliant and rightly successful 'Curse of the Black Pearl'. This film, sadly, was no exception to this trend.

'Dead Men Tell No Tales' follows, once again, Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp in his pirating adventures at sea. Henry Turner, Will Turner's son, has found a clue to breaking his father's curse that he received at the end of 'World's End', so he enlists Jack to help him find the McGuffin of this film, Poseidon's trident, which can end all curses upon the sea. I feel like the plot of this film would have been more enjoyable if it didn't follow the same overused tropes as every 'Pirates' film before it. Namely, mysterious mystical objects whose powers are unexplained, someone out for revenge (often quite rightly) against Jack Sparrow, Jack nearly being killed whilst destroying a town and every man on a ship kicking up a superstitious fuss whenever a woman sails with them. 

Johnny Depp gives a bland performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. The character's charm has been destroyed by one too many films.

Johnny Depp gives a bland performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. The character's charm has been destroyed by one too many films.

Johnny Depp was arguably the worst part of this film, awful given that he was supposed to be the star. It felt like he was just going through the motions rather drunkenly and with lack of effort. The rest of the cast were happily passable, with newcomers to the franchise Kaya Scodelario and Brenton Thwaites refreshing whenever when they were on screen with Johnny Depp (as I at least had something else to focus on, even if their characters were like walking talking expositional devices). Even cameos by Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley and a semi-decent performance by Javier Bardum as villain Salazar were not enough to stop me glancing at my phone to check the time to see how long I had left to watch.

The action was its usual slapstick goodness for a 'Pirates' film but sadly it was just not enough to make this a good film. The strangeness of action - such as rotating guillotines and an entire bank being dragged through the street - used to be charmingly fun in previous films but I've lost it with this film. When you have to resort to CGI-generated zombie sharks to get attention from your audience, it may be a sign to please retire this franchise. There were some minor parts of this film where I felt a spark of hope that it could capture the fun of previous films but they were quickly abated and this film is clearly flogging a dead horse. If you want to see it, you can, but I'll be avoiding a repeat viewing. I can think of much better ways to spend two and a quarter hours.

Rating: 2/5

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