Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Reviewed by Clayton Barnett


The Premise
Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

The Review
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise are dead set on capturing the lightening in a bottle that caused the first to be such a breakout hit. And while the fifth attempt is a visual treasure chest, the story never sets sail.

The franchise did at least try some fresh talent, with Bruckheimer should-tapping Swedish directors Espen Sandberg and Joachim Ronning who made the little seen but gripping sea adventure Kon Tiki. 

Too bad they weren’t allowed more control at the helm, or a bash at the script from the man who wrote Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. For people to let that guy write the next chapter of a floundering franchise is beyond me. I actually thought this was the fourth instalment, only to realise I’d completely forgotten about On Stranger Tides, which says a lot about how this franchise has sunk so low.

Casting wise Depp has to carry a lot of dead men and women here, with the two young unknown Will and Elizabeth wannabes having zero spark. At least Javier Bardem adds some juicy delivery to his scary-as-hell (and brilliantly rendered) Captain Salazar.

The hero of this tale are the set-pieces. The opening bank robbery is a rollicking ride, the execution rescue is just hilarious, and while it might get accused of jumping the shark, the actually ghost shark sequence is great fun in 3-D.

The Verdict
While a 3-D visual treat, the fifth instalment is an easily forgettable one as the thin plot sails from entertaining set-piece to set-piece. I hope Depp calls it a day on his pirate life.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 25th May 2017
Rating: M – Contains supernatural themes & violence
Duration: 129 minutes 
Genre:  Fantasy
Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem
Director: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg

The Extras
In an interview, Orlando Bloom said this movie will be a soft reboot of the previous instalments.

Christoph Waltz was originally cast in the role of Captain Brand, but dropped out due to other work commitments. Javier Bardem was then given the role, but the name was changed from Brand to Salazar to sound more Mediterranean to accompany Bardem's Spanish descent. Bardem and Waltz both previously played villains in Daniel Craig James Bond films. Bardem in Skyfall (2012), and Waltz in Spectre (2015).

This is the second film in the franchise, following Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, to be marketed as the final installment of the franchise.

The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is the twelfth highest grossing franchise ever.

The first film of the franchise to not be filmed in the Caribbean.

Johnny Depp injured his hand while filming in Australia, and had to make a trip back to the U.S.

With a release six years after its predecessor, marks the largest gap between the Pirates of the Caribbean films.


After failing to return for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), Disney reached back out to Martin Klebba (Marty), Lee Arenberg (Pintel) and Mackenzie Crook (Raghetti) to return for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). Only Klebba was able to make it work within his schedule.