Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Synopsis: After a botched bank robbery attempt, Captain Jack Sparrow's crew abandons him. When he gives away his compass for a bottle of rum, he inadvertently releases a vengeful ghost captain from captivity and, with his life in danger, teams up with Will Turner's son, Henry, and a female astronomer to find Poseidon's trident, the one thing that will stop the ghost captain and will free Will Turner from his Flying Dutchman curse.

Who's in it? The movie stars Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario.

Review: To tell you the truth, when I heard they were making a 5th Pirates of the Caribbean movie, I wasn't really sure what to think. Overall, I liked the previous four films (though the first is still the best). But, every franchise starts to run its course after a while and I figured five movies might be at least one too many.

However, when my wife discovered this film was on Netflix, we decided to take the time to watch it. We did that last night and, while, once again, the first is still our favorite, this one wasn't terrible.

Actually, this film contained many of the same elements that made the first film an instant classic. There are ghost pirates, a mystical treasure, explosive sea battles and, of course, Captain Jack (Depp) to add some additional adventure combined with drunken comic relief.

One thing I found I liked about this film was the way the writers kept the plot relatively simple. Some of the films from this series over complicated things and just weren't as fun to watch as a result. By keeping the plot simple, with one bad guy and one treasure to find, this movie was able to put a lot more focus on the action scenes.

I think my only real complaint about this movie is I just had a hard time liking how they used Sparrow's long time ally/enemy Barbossa (Rush). He's easily my favorite character from this series but, at the same time, it was almost as though he was thrown in for nostalgia reasons with no clear purpose. Even his connection with newcomer Carina (Scodelario) seemed almost forced and I absolutely hated the ending largely because of what happens to him.

Final Opinion: While it didn't quite capture the magic of the first film, this movie did prove to be considerably better than I was expecting and I enjoyed watching it.

My Grade: B


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