Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Recap

Jamie

Jack Sparrow is back… uh… Jack. We find him destitute and drunk on the island of Saint Martin when the son of Will Turner, Henry, comes a-knocking looking to free his father with the power of the Trident of Poseidon. Will they outrun some nasty ghost pirates and nab the Trident before it’s too late? Find out in… Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

What?! Henry Turner is dead set on freeing his father, Will Turner, from his eternal curse aboard The Flying Dutchman by obtaining the powerful Trident of Poseidon. Knowing that Jack Sparrow is his only hope he heads on a quest to find him. On his way there he is part of a crew that crosses paths with a Spanish pirate hunter, Salazar, trapped in Devil’s Triangle. In exchange for his life, Henry is tasked with delivering a message of revenge to Jack Sparrow (what a coincidence! You’re looking for him too?). Once on Saint Martin, Henry crosses paths with Carina Smyth who is also searching for the trident (what a coincidence! You’re looking for that too?). At the same time Salazar is freed after Jack drunkenly throws his compass away (this is getting confusing with all these coincidences). Shortly thereafter both Carina and Jack are sentenced to death. Freeing them with the help of Jack’s crew, Henry and the gang set out for the Trident. While searching for Jack, Salazar encounters Barbossa who promises to help him find Jack. They converge near a small island where our heroes and Barbossa manage to escape to land. Once there Barbossa makes a new alliance with Jack to help him find the Trident and they join together on the Black Pearl. The race to the Trident is on! Our heroes find the secret Trident island and open a path in the ocean to their prize. A fight with Salazar ensues at the end of which they break the Trident, thus breaking all curses across the land. Escaping to their ship they leave Salazar to die at the ocean’s depths. We end with Henry reuniting with his father Will, freed from his curse forever. My god is that unnecessarily complex. THE END.  

Why?! Henry Turner wants to save his dear old dad, Will, and Carina wants to help him because… huh… not sure actually. She just wanted to follow the stars on the map left to her by her daddio. I guess she thought they would somehow lead her to him… which in the end it did (Spoiler Alert: He’s Barbossa). As for Jack, he is mostly a drunk in this film, hoping only to escape death. While more of a subplot in this film, Jack’s objective of eternal life is something that ties together most of the films. In particular it ties in Davy Jones as the ultimate villain of the franchise: the evil pirate who has the eternal life that Jack so desires. This is what leads me to believe that there will be at least one more film in the franchise. The obvious end to to the Jack Sparrow saga is his place on The Black Pearl as the eternal shepherd of the underworld through a final battle to destroy Davy Jones and his Locker for good.

What?! Now here is a classic MacGuffin. From the start we are told that the Trident of Poseidon can break any curse. How? Why? Don’t worry about it. Just know that it is an object that both good and evil will strive for in the hopes of gaining ultimate power. It’s a funny MacGuffin too in that its power is released only in its destruction, so the first time we see it is also the last.

Who?! While Keith Richards has played Jack Sparrow’s father in the 3rd and 4th Pirates of the Caribbean films, he does not show up here. Instead Paul McCartney randomly cameos as Jack’s uncle, throwing a few jokes his way in prison. Cool.

Where?! The Caribbean, duh. In fact the setting for a large portion of the film was specified this time. Jack is stuck and rumored dead on the island of Saint Martin. Once they leave that island though the setting is basically just the open sea and secret islands. C.

When?! All the films at least can be framed in reference to each other. Henry Turner is 21 years old in this film and thus 21 years after the third film (at the end of which he was conceived). The fourth film is claimed to be 16 years after the third film, placing this film in 1756 give or take a couple years. This is fun, but it’s still a D-.

We have done a whole bunch of franchises over the last year (and I would venture a guess that 2018 may turn into the year of the franchises as we had a blast doing them) and you can’t help but find the aspects of each of them that made them hits in the first place. It’s like Stockholm Syndrome, we come to love our captors. Pirates of the Caribbean is no different. I came to enjoy the spectacular CGI, even more spectacular stunts, and the humor that Jack Sparrow brought to the table, even when the storylines started to make very little sense and the films ballooned to nearly three hours. So when the fourth took much of that away and then the fifth really only brought the CGI back up to snuff (Jack is reduced to a caricature of himself, constantly yelping in surprise as he has nothing more clever to say) I was pretty disappointed. But it didn’t slake my thirst for an adequate conclusion to the series. I know they can do it. I need to see Jack Sparrow ride off into the sunset at the helm of The Black Pearl having been granted eternal life. It’s the only real way this ends. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Six years ago you made a terrible mistake. Succumbing to peer pressure you allowed Johnny Depp to make yet another Pirates of the Caribbean film, much to the world’s chagrine. Since then the thirst has been silent, waiting in the darkness. Then … a small voice says in the back of your head: “Make another one. It’ll be great. Savvy?” Ugh, I hate you, you think … but, yes, I savvy indeed. Let’s get into it!

The Good (Sequel, Prequel, Remake) – This comes across as much more of a Pirates of the Caribbean film than the fourth. It was fun and at least had a spirited direction compared to some of the other sequels. Resolving the Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley storyline at least allows the series to pass into a slumber if they didn’t feel the need to complete a second trilogy. I think though I’ll outline what I could imagine a sixth film to be in a Sequel. Basically, at the end of this film all pirate curses have been broken, but apparently magic still exists (it appears Jack Sparrow’s compass still operates, pointing to the owner’s desire). In the sequel the compass brings Jack Sparrow back to Shipwreck Cove to hold another Brethren Court with Elizabeth Swann (who remains the Pirate King) and Carina Smyth (who inherited the captaincy of the Caspian Sea from her father Captain Barbossa). The problem? Magic in this world is dying, a consequence of the breaking of Poseidon’s Trident, and without magic the pirate’s domination of the sea is in peril. Jack Sparrow, harboring his long-held desire for immortality, offers to find the hidden merman city which, according to legend, is ruled by Triton, the son of Poseidon. Knowing that where Gods live there is the possibility of immortality Jack sails deep into the Amazon where the secret city is to be found. Can Jack Sparrow discover the secret to save Pirate magic before it is too late? Pirates of the Caribbean: The Forsaken Mermen.

The Bad (Crimes Against BMT-anity) – The story in this case as one of the weaker in the series, it was never really clear what anyone was doing. While I like Javier Bardem, his bad guy was also a little weird and shoehorned into the whole mythology (although I liked seeing young Jack). And, sorry, but Brenton Thwaites is the new Jai Courtney, there is something uncharismatic about him where he could be replaced by almost anyone and the movie wouldn’t suffer a bit. It was the same in Gods of Egypt. Get your money though Thwaites. In this short Crimes Against BMT-anity I thought I would just note how humorless the whole Pirates franchise managed to becomes during its run. The first film was (and still is) fantastic, but mainly because of how funny and wacky the whole world and especially Jack Sparrow was. By this installment? Barbossa is a garbage human, Jack is a mopey asshole, and the once exciting life of a pirate looks to be rather … drab and, honestly, sad. Hopefully they can finish off the series with a bang. If not that go for broke and get some catastrophic 0% or something. Do it … do it.

The BMT (Legacy / StreetCreditReport.com) – I still don’t think there is much legacy here unless there is a complete garbage pile of a sixth film. It was a fascinating look at big budget franchises, something we kind of tended to avoid prior to this year (outside of something like Transformers which demanded to be addressed), so perhaps it’ll change BMT temporarily and we will hit a few of those now. Street cred is basically impossible to analyze until the end of the year. A few of the lists I’ve found ignored this guy, and besides Depp I don’t really see it getting noticed … maybe sequel / remake, but nothing big. I’ll go under the radar.

And I don’t think I have anything else to report. I did not revisit the franchise, I started right back up with the fourth, so I can’t really do a review there.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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