The Pirates series – which began back in 2003, mind you – is now up to its fifth instalment – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (or Salazar’s Revenge).
This time, we’re following the story of fan-favourite Will Turner (Orlando Bloom)’s son, Henry (Brenton Thwaites). All his life, he’s been trying to break the curse that condemns his father to the seas, and the only way to do that is through securing the Trident of Poseidon.
When the ship he is aboard is set upon by Spanish Sea Captain Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his men, he is the sole survivor charged with delivering a message – Death is coming for Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp).
Meanwhile, Carina (Kaya Scodelario) is on trial for witchcraft (which is actually just astronomy), and holds the only map to the Trident. Sparrow, on death row after being arrested for robbing a bank, is due to be executed on the same day. As fate should have it, Henry rescues them both, and with the help of Jack, his ship and his crew, sets out to find the artifact and save Will – while outrunning Salazar and his men, of course.
The Pirates franchise, like Fast and Furious before it, looks to be going down a path skewed more towards VFX and ‘wow factor’ than story, and suffers in some places, hindered especially by Depp’s ‘drunken uncle’ portrayal of Sparrow for a fair chunk of the film.
That being said, Dead Men Tell No Tales is very much a Pirates of the Caribbean film. It’s got sea warfare, treasure, a few kick-arse swordfights, and even a decent appearance from Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and the Flying Dutchman, that all serve as pleasant distractions from some of the film’s more unbelievable moments.
Aussie Thwaites is an endearing addition to the cast, well-complemented by Scodelario, and the pair – along with Depp – have a great chemistry, making for an enjoyable Pirates adventure, and certainly not the worst instalment in the franchise. You even find out where Jack Sparrow earned his name… hang on, shouldn’t there be a Captain in there somewhere?
In cinemas: May 25, 2017
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Johnny Depp
Directed by: Joachim Ronnig, Espen Sandberg