Johnny Depp returns in unequivocally the most iconic role of his career as Capt. Jack Sparrow in the latest Pirates entry, “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
While most franchises tend to be ready to be put out to sea by this point, I’m happy to report that this fifth installment gives fans exactly what they’ve come to expect: Incredible action sequences, over-the-top humor, and a few nifty surprises.
Depp’s Capt. Jack is back this time around searching for the Trident of Poseidon which has the power to break any and all curses on the waters. Young Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) needs Jack’s help in order to help free his father from the curse of being the captain of the Flying Dutchman. If you’re hazy in your franchise history, the Flying Dutchman is the ship Will captains after Davy Jones returned to his locker at the end of the third film.
Naturally, Jack is reluctant and tries every trick in the book to get out of it until an old enemy come after Jack for revenge. That villain happens to be the undead Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem). Jack tricked Salazar to sail into the Devil’s Triangle which made Salazar and his crew turn into their ghost-like state. Now Jack has no choice.
Unlike the previous film, “On Stranger Tides,” this one is much more fast-paced and contains several terrific set pieces, including Jack’s opening sequence involving being stuck inside a bank vault and another where he barely escapes from a guillotine. That sequence alone is no doubt the most comically inventive in the whole movie.
Bardem gives a creepy, menacing presence as Salazar and Geoffrey Rush returns as Barbossa who has some surprising revelations up his sleeve. Not to mention there’s some very funny dialogue involving Kaya Scodelario who plays an astronomer/horologist and her job supplies more than a few hilarious quips.
Overall, this entry plays more like a greatest hits compilation than advancing the material, but like the “Fast and Furious” movies, as long as this series gives us more of what we know and come to expect, that’s all that should really matter.
I know most franchises should be through by now, but there’s a part of me that actually wouldn’t mind seeing Capt. Jack and company one more time, if they can find anymore buried treasure for another film. Savvy?
Rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.