Warning! This post contains mild spoilers! If you haven’t seen the movie yet, watch the trailer, go to the theater, and then come back and read 🙂
I’ve always loved the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, including On Stranger Tides. I understand why it didn’t do as well as the others, and it doesn’t surprise me. The story seemed a bit disconnected. Rather than flowing from one event to the next, it felt like there were chapters that divided enjoyable segments instead of forming a cohesive story. Its tone didn’t match the swashbuckling fun of the first three
Dead Men Tell No Tales was a strong return to the old feel. The almost cartoony antics of the hanging scene brought Jack Sparrow back to being the poor sap who wins by luck that made him such a fun character. The pirates’ jokes were just irreverent enough to remind us that they are “rascals, scoundrels, and ne’er-do-well cads,” without having to rely on bawdy laughs.
The plot is fairly straight forward and doesn’t have any jaw-dropping surprises. The closest we come is learning that Barbossa is Carina’s father, but that surprise is more for Barbossa than it is for the audience. Carina’s scientific attitude to finding Poseidon’s trident is a fun mix-up from the always mythological approach of the Pirates films, even if she is searching for a mythological trident.
With that in mind, there was a couple I’d have loved to see more of. William and Elizabeth Turner were there long enough to be in the movie, but were hardly a part of the story. It felt like a waste to have Will show up, send his defiant son Henry away, and disappear for the rest of the movie. But if the post-credit scene is a setup for a sixth movie, I can overlook it as a sly character reintroduction.