At the Movies with Jason: Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales

Hey everyone, Jason from Jack-FM here with another movie review!  Can you believe they’re letting me do this?  I can’t.

Last night, a group of Jack listeners, a ton of local press, and an entire crew of Seafair Pirates descended upon the Boeing IMAX Theater to check out the sneak preview of the fifth (and supposed final) installment of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series, DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.

I’m going to be straight with you: it’s a standard issue Pirates of the Caribbean flick.  There’s a Magic McGuffin™, & both the “good guys” and the “bad guys” are after it for their own personal reasons.  Obstacles are presented & overcome, there are crazy scenes where Jack Sparrow yells as things happen around him, and there’s a feisty woman at the center of the action.

THAT SAID, I really enjoyed it.  Brenton Thwaites was really great as Will Turner’s son Henry, Kaya Scodelario was equally wonderful as Carina, and Javier Bardem simply chewed scenery as the new villain, Captain Salazar.  The returning cast was just as good as ever, Gibbs & Marty were a welcome sight, but I missed Pintel & Ragetti.

Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa has been my favorite character of the series since the beginning, even more than Captain Jack himself, and it was really awesome getting to see him come into his own as the captain of the Queen Anne’s Revenge after the action from “On Stranger Tides…”

There were a few surprises, like David Wenham as Captain Scarfield, adding more fire to the pursuit as the British Naval commander who wanted the Magic McGuffin™ so that the British Empire could rule the sea instead.  Paul McCartney shows up in a quick cameo that was pretty cool too.

All in all, it’s a fun romp, it hits all the notes that we’re used to in a Pirates movie, and the score is just as inspiring as always.  STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS, there IS a tiny final scene, and I’d hate for you to miss it.

NOW, let’s talk about a little of the BAD, and the elephant in the room…

Johnny Depp is clearly phoning it in.  I hate to say it, because I love Captain Jack Sparrow, & I loved the deeper dive into his history.  Also, the fact that the script was written with a woman as the main antagonist, and had to be changed because Johnny Depp vetoed that idea really sucks.  Who knows, maybe that version of the script was simply BAD, but I wish we had seen something a little different than “cursed captain chases Jack Sparrow” again.

In the end, I really enjoyed it.  It’s always fun getting to jump back into that world, see returning faces that I’ve grown to love over the past 14 years.  The 3D was well managed and actually helped the movie in my opinion.  The ghost effects of the cursed sailors were really well imagined in 3D, and the scene with the zombie sharks was equally as impressive.  The story, while simple & straightforward, was exciting and fun, and the new main characters really made the movie better.  Seeing Orlando Bloom as the Captain of the Flying Dutchman is always a treat too.

FINAL RATING – Worth seeing on the big screen.  It’s great in IMAX 3D, but regular will do fine too.

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