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  • Chad Womack

Chad Reviews "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales"

It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous concept for a film (let alone an entire multi-billion-dollar film franchise) than that of a theme park ride. Back in 2003, with the first film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, “The Curse of the Black Pearl,” it introduced one of the most memorable and iconic characters in the last several years with Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the loveable roguish buccaneer, Captain Jack Sparrow. Much to everyone’s surprise, the film was not just a huge commercial success but also a truly delightful film that even netted Depp an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. The sequels that followed may not have been as enjoyable as the original, but they were no less successful, and after a 6-year hiatus, Jack is back with new ports to plunder and fiercer seas to sail as “Dead Men Tell No Tales” continues the “POTC” saga.

Jack once again finds himself beset on all sides as Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), a literal ghost from Sparrow’s past comes back to seek his revenge after Jack outwitted him many years earlier resulting not only in Salazar’s demise but his eternal damnation as well. He eventually crosses paths with scientist Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who is searching for her long lost father, and Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), obsessed on freeing his father Will (Orlando Bloom) from the curse of serving as the Captain of The Flying Dutchman. Along with Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), they realize that the key to their salvation is finding the Trident of Poseidon to not only control the seas but break the curses that thwart them as well.

This film was a pretty major letdown for me. I’ve been a fan of this series from the beginning but found each successive chapter less satisfying as it continued to progress. I was usually able to pick out at least one high point in every story of the saga, but that streak ends here. I really couldn’t find anything that this series hasn’t already done to death, so it’s especially distressing that the main reason that people keep flocking to these films in Depp’s portrayal of the beloved Sparrow has really passed its shelf life. Depp seems bored out of his mind, delivering a phoned-in performance that clearly screams “I’m just doing this for the PAYCHECK!” The rumor is that this is the final installment, but somehow I doubt it if this continues to be the cash cow it’s always been. A little style over substance would be a welcome return to a series that has just become a dumping ground for half-baked scripts and overuse of CG. Alas POTC… I knew ye well.

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