Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Closes a Chapter

Pictured L to R: Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Photo credit: Film Frame. © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales appears to be a fitting conclusion for the saga.  Whether Disney will opt to greenlight a sixth film in the franchise remains to be determined but a post-credits scene could very well open the door for another film.

Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg from a screenplay written by Jeff Nathanson (story by Nathanson and Pirates veteran Terry Rossio), Johnny Depp leads a cast that includes Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin R. McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham, Geoffrey Rush, with Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and a special appearance by Paul McCartney.

The film starts out with young Henry Turner going to find his dad, Will Turner (Bloom), and he is dead set on breaking his dad from the curse of the Flying Dutchman.  The only problem is that he needs Jack Sparrow to do this.  It’s not until years later that Henry is the sole survivor on a Royal Navy ship that was taken over by Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem).

Salazar may very well be the most-feared of all the villains to appear in the franchise.  His crew is very deadly as they escape from Devil’s Triangle and are looking for Sparrow, killing everyone in their way.

Meanwhile, astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) has joined forces with Henry in hopes of finding Trident of Poseidon.  Jack needs their help in finding this object and things become uneasy between them.  Sparrow is by no means a fan of their help but Carina knows what she’s doing and she’s hellbent on finding the Trident as it is a mission to honor her unknown father.  This makes for an interesting twist that plays out as they find the island on a map that no men can read.

There’s this underlying theme of parents and children throughout the series and that’s not missing here.  Between Carina and Henry, they both want to see their fathers.

With the curse of the ocean broken, it seems to be a fitting conclusion to the saga.  It helps that they brought back fan favorites like Captain Barbossa, Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Gibbs, and others.  The fourth film was missing a lot of this.  Turner and Swann were missing from the fourth and their cameos were a nice delight.  The post-credits scene teases the return of a previous villain and possibly setting up the sixth film.

McCartney’s appearance is a brief cameo as Uncle Jack and features him singing Maggie Mae.  He gives Sparrow some advice from inside his jail cell.  The former Beatle is completely unrecognizable but the voice gives him away.

Financially speaking, 2003’s Curse of the Black Pearl was a surprise hit based on the Disney ride.  Where this film will rank in the franchise when all is said and done remains to be determined.   The first two films did well domestically and finished well above even while the last two did better overseas than in the states.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales sails into theaters today.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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