“The worst pirate we’ve heard of” returns in the fifth installment of the franchise.
If The Fast and the Furious can get 8 movies, then Pirates of the Caribbean can do so as well. In its latest addition to the franchise, Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush welcome new characters portrayed by Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, and Kaya Scodelario.
Five years after On Stranger Tides, Captain Jack Sparrow is down on his luck; he lost his crew, his ship, and a sense of purpose. Imprisoned, he meets Henry Turner (Thwaites), the son of William Turner (Orlando Bloom), who asks for his assistance in retrieving the Trident of Poseidon and informs him that Captain Salazar (Bardem) and his cursed Spanish crew are coming their way to kill him. With the help of the intelligent Carina Smyth (Scodelario) and Jack’s old pirate crew, they sail away in search of the infamous artifact.
Though this is the first movie in the franchise not to feature Hans Zimmer’s music, the soundtrack is still beautiful to listen to. The main theme still has remnants of the past theme, yet it is still fresh.
Both Thwaites and Scodelario are effective as solo characters. Their own character arcs are well-motivated and relatable. Their romance sub-plot, however, feels forced and is just a bootleg version of Will Turner-Elizabeth Swann.
Captain Salazar has the motivation of almost all Pirates bad guys, but Bardem manages to make it feel personal. His Captain Ahab-level obsession to kill Sparrow has lead to his demises (yeah, plural). There were time when I had a hard time understanding him though.
Johnny Depp has portrayed the character for over 14 years (sometimes in Disneyland). Evident in the latter movies, Jack Sparrow walks in a very thin line of being a parody or caricature of himself. The Curse of the Black Pearl portrayal has always been my favorite.
The story in itself is nothing new. Change a few character names and artifact names here and there, and you soon realize you’re basically watching the same thing.
However, the scene between Barbossa (Rush) and Carina, who was revealed to be her long lost daughter, is completely surprising and emotional…or maybe I have a soft spot for father scenes/stories.
Also, despite appearing to be the last movie in the franchise, the post-credits scene at the end tells us otherwise.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales features the same story with minute differences. Let us all hope that the next movie ends this franchise with a satisfying bang because Dead Men Tell No Tales is…