Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Jack's Back! But do we care?

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales 

Certificate: 12A

Running Time: 129 minutes

Director: Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg

Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom


In order to release his father from the curse of the Flying Dutchman, Henry Turner enlists the help of Jack Sparrow to find Poseidon’s Trident.

“The dead have taken command of the sea. They’re searching for a girl, a Pearl, and a Sparrow!”


The latest Pirates of the Caribbean film is dull, it’s really, really dull: I can’t emphasis this enough! It’s so dull that as I sat there in my cinema seat staring blankly at the screen, I started to think about the questions to life, the universe and everything else in between and I’m pretty sure had this film ran on for another twenty minutes or so, I’d have probably found the answers!

It’s the fifth instalment to a film that really didn’t need a sequel, let another four subsequent instalments. A franchise entirely built around Johnny Depp’s performance as Jack Sparrow, as he prances around onscreen in a pirate costume, spouting innuendo filled dialogue and giving his best Keith Richards impersonation.

It was funny the first time round when it took us all by surprise, but the novelty factor of Depp’s performance has long worn thin! Since these films continue to make money, a lot of money for Disney they’re only too happy for Depp to carry on with his shtick!

But the thing is, the Pirate films are just so bum-numbingly dull!

The plot this time, if you really must know sees Jack setting off on a quest to find Poseidon’s trident in the hope that it could free Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) from his cursed captaincy of the Flying Dutchman (see previous films if you’re bothered) and stop Javier Bardam’s villainous, undead Captain Salazar from getting his hands on the trident as he plots his revenge against Jack

Yeap that’s basically it, there’s nothing really new here! Nothing we haven’t seen before and there’s a real sinking feeling about proceedings this time round.

For a film with a supposed budget well in excess of £300 million it all feels so lazy and lacklustre. It’s a box-ticking exercise by the film’s producers, the script is expositional heavy and relies heavily on the ‘wambo’ approach to filmmaking! There’s a big over-the-top set-piece every 15 minutes or so, that moves the plot along to the next set-piece.

From the opening scenes were Depp’s character literally steals a bank, to its great big nautical finale this is a film that relies on the spectacle to entertain cinemagoers and it simply doesn’t work.

Bardem makes a weak antagonist, the Spanish actor is wasted in a role that’s executed with far too much CGI and a character that isn’t that interesting. Neither are the film’s two newcomers, Brenton Thwaites (Henry Turner) and Kayla Scodelario (Carina Smyth), their characters feel like rehashed versions of characters of Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) from the first film: even franchise veterans, like the ever-watchable Geoffrey Rush couldn’t raise my interest levels.

There’s just too much going on onscreen, even Depp finds himself struggling to keep afloat in this murky sea of blandness.

It’s the shortest film in the franchise to date, yet Dead Men Tell No Tales manages to feel like the longest. The visuals are just so dark and gloomy and the film takes itself far too seriously!

Give me the swashbuckling silliness of Cutthroat Island or Captain Blood any day of the week over any of the Pirate films.


Disney have made a film with pirates and zombies and somehow managed to serve up a summer blockbuster that’s bland, boring and incredibly dull!

Written by Jim McClean


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