There are plenty of excellent reasons to take yourself to the movie theater this long weekend and get settled in to see the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
If you were charmed by the original 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean film: The Curse of the Black Pearl with its sexy, tipsy, Captain Jack Sparrow [Johnny Depp], feisty 18th century feminist Elizabeth Swann [Keira Knightley] and brave adventurer, Will Turner, [Orlando Bloom], then you will be in for a happy surprise. The new sure-to-be blockbuster is the closest to the original movie in spirit and purity.
I say purity because Dead Men Tell No Tales is the least overblown and calculated of the films since we first met Johnny. It also has the most character development — not that that’s saying a huge amount since the original. We finally have a female character worthy of filling the vacuum left by Keira Knightley’s smart, fearless, Elizabeth Swann. English actress Kaya Scodelario, 25, steps into the skirts of bright, educated Carina Smyth, who is on the run on an unnamed Caribbean island, from the British authorities, who want to hang her as a witch. Even though Carina is an orphan who was abandoned after birth, somehow she has raised herself to be an informed, serious woman of science, specializing in astronomy and horology — the study of measuring time. She’s quick-witted, articulate and fearless, even though she’s on the run.
Equally fearless is hunky Henry Turner, the son of Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner, who has been living under a curse and under the sea, consigned to be the legendary Davy Jones. Turner is on a mission to find the mythical Trident of Poseidon, which has the power to break the spell, binding Will Turner to his underwater vessel, The Flying Dutchman. Carina is also desperately trying to find the Trident because she is convinced it will lead her to the father who abandoned her, but with his diary detailing a secret map.
Then, there is a half-dead Spanish Captain Salazar [Javier Bardem], trapped in The Devil’s Triangle by a younger Jack Sparrow and he’s consumed with finding and killing Jack AND getting his hands on the Trident too, so it can break his curse and make him completely undead. Side note here, Javier’s real-life wife, Penelope Cruz played Jack Sparrow’s lover, Angelica, who also happened to be famous ruthless pirate, Blackbeard’s daughter.
Ok, so newcomers, Carina, Henry and Javier all give you good reasons to get engrossed in Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Then of course, there’s Jack. Of course, he’s back and as handsome as ever. But I have to say, I wish the franchise’s writers would give him way more to do than mumble about in his charming half-drunk way. Flashbacks to Sparrow as the young captain who bested Salazar — quick and clever as a whip — and thrilled to be the captain of the fastest ship in the sea– The Black Pearl– make us nostalgic for what, Jack once was. We need more of that brave dashing leader, Jack back.
So enjoy the entertaining Dead Men Tell No Tales. The surprise ending is well worth waiting for and of course opens the way to all kinds of possibilities for films numbers, 6, 7, and 8. But come on writers and producers, let’s dry out Jack at least part time and put him back into some swashbuckling action on the high seas.
HollywoodLifers, do you agree? Let me know!