Can you believe that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is actually the fifth movie in the series? Can you believe that the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out in 2003? Can you believe Johnny Depp is now 53 years old?
Just when you think you the series must be played out, you learn something new to keep it interesting.
For my husband and son, they just learned that the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were based on and inspired by the ride of the same name.
Seriously? they said. I thought it was the other way around!
Umm, that ride has been at Disneyland since 1967. It’s as if they don’t even know Disney at all!
Once I schooled them, we all sat down for a thrilling, edge-of-our-seats, 120 minute swashbuckler of a film. While watching the movie, that word “swashbuckler” kept popping into my head. This was an Action movie with a capital A.
As a family, we’ve been exploring a lot of the older, classic action movies from my youth, like the Indiana Jones series. What I noticed, as did my son, is that there’s a lot of action, a lot of stunts, and a lot of blood. Just what 10 year old boys want to see.
It wasn’t until we sat through for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales that I realized that’s what’s been missing from my action movies. I need ACTION. I need stunts. I need (a little) blood and I need to believe it’s real.
While I love the use of CGI in movies today, mainly because it creates realities we couldn’t otherwise imagine, I miss good old fashioned movie-making with big elaborate sets and gorgeous scenery. And that’s what this Pirates movie felt like. It felt like a bit of a throwback to old school movie making and it was thrilling.
But, Fadra, you say, doesn’t this movie involve Captain Salazar (played by Javier Bardem) looking like death as he returns from the deadly depths of the Bermuda Triangle with a vow to kill every pirate? And doesn’t his skeletal ship, the Silent Mary, basically “eat” other ships? You mean to tell me that was all “real”?
Okay, okay, You got me there. Some things just can’t really be done with makeup and models. So there definitely is some CGI in the film but it’s a good mix of acting, fighting, action, and some CGI-assisted epic battles.
The real question you might be asking, though, is has this series played out? Trailers for the movie underscore Dead Men Tell No Tales with the line “The Final Adventure Begins…” Does that mean this is the end for Captain Jack Sparrow? Will we see more of this movie franchise? And more importantly, do we want to see more?
I suspect Disney is leaving room to move in either direction. There’s an epic battle that brings the story full circle back to the original film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (I won’t spoil it for you though). It would make for a nice, neat final ending. However, Disney also says the final adventure begins which means this could be the first of several in a series finale. And there was a stinger if you stay to the very end of the credits (if you do, I’d love to hear what you think it means).
I would guess that the future of the series depends on two things: how well this movie does at the box office and whether or not Johnny Depp wants to keep playing the role he was born to play.
My recommendation is that you support this film at the box office. I saw it in IMAX 3D, which is a format I don’t usually particularly love. In this case, splurge to see it (and hear it) this way. As for who you should bring with you, more below.
Recommended for: Moms, dads, older kids – at least 8 years, if not older depending on their tolerance for scary stuff and violence
Discussion points: The story can be a little confusing to follow if you’re not familiar with the series history or have trouble with accents. Be prepared for a lot of scary scenes and blood, and knives, guns, nooses, and even a guillotine. Yup, it’s violent!
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars; A fun, action-packed, thriller adventure movie, just like the old days (kind of).