This is the fifth and (hopefully) final time Captain Jack will stumble onto our screens in the form of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. All credit should go to Disney Studios for managing to develop film franchises based on their own theme park rides. When it was decided to turn this into a feature length film in 2003, the marketing team could not have imagined that this franchise would turn into a cinematic phenomenon. The latest instalment capitalises on the original formula of combining oceanic adventures with morally ambiguous pirates, the supernatural world of curses, fantastic special effects and the humorous stylings of Johnny Depp. This has proven to be a magical combination, but with each outing onto the world’s oceans the enchantment has lost its lustre.
This seafaring journey begins with the introduction of Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) who is working to free his father, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) from the curse of the Flying Dutchman. His answer to breaking the curse is in the hands of the perpetually drunk and illusive Jack Sparrow and in a book held by the beautiful damsel, Carina Smythe (Kaya Scodelario). In his quest to find the infamous pirate captain, Henry comes to realise that he has to get in the queue behind others who want to exact their revenge on Sparrow or at minimum to bring him to justice. The young Turner must help the dreadlocked pirate to elude Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and the British Royal Navy while attempting to find the legendary Posiden’s Trident, which may have the power to bring an end to all the curses of the seas.
The house of mouse proves that with the right combination of financial backing, a tired franchise can still attract exceptional acting talent. Relatively unknown directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have been given the talent pool from the previous films with the addition of Academy Award winner Javier Bardem to attempt to breathe life into the script. Even though Depp is surrounded by a stellar cast, he seems to suffer from sheer boredom with the role and struggles to deliver the cutting edge performance that made audiences fall in love with Captain Jack. This was exacerbated by the attempt to use great special effects and beautiful locations to cover for poorly written dialogue with the acting performances suffering as a result.When the writing has to resort to testicle jokes for laughs, there is an awareness that this franchise has run its course.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a lesson in not knowing when to end a good thing. At the conclusion of the original trilogy, this franchise could have had a beautiful time sailing into the sunset. Instead, Disney has sucked the life out of this franchise. They have pushed audiences into a purgatory like existence, similar to the experience of the Salazar’s crew, and the hope that this film and franchise will eventually come to an end.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
What does the bible say? Proverbs 4:23, Romans 5:12, Philippians 4:8