OK, hands up everyone who thought that after the WTF moment that was the fourth Film in the long running Pirates of the Caribbean franchise would ever come back? Seriously, even Blackbum the Pirate, played by Ian McShane must have thought it was the end after such a lacklustre sequel that had Penelope Cruz being all woman fightery and no real reason to exist.
But then again, Pirates of the Caribbean would be hard to ignore a revisit. This after all was the series which gave Johnny Depp license to pretend to be drunk all the time while apparently performing feats of wonder and skill. It gave us some outrageous plots, some wonderful effects and fight scenes and introduced a lot of people to Orlando Bloom and Gorgeous Boy-Girl Keira Knightley. Whether or not that was ever intended during the first film or not, who cares?
Because of the success of the first film, we got two more films with the main cast, over which it seemed to just disappear up its own arse during the third film where Will Turner became the captain of the Flying Dutchman and boy-girl Kera become the Pirate King. So imagine the surprise when Disney decided that it was worth continuing on the epic story of Captain Jack Sparrow even after it all went off the rails of the ride it was all based on. Now as cynical as I’m going to sound here, here’s a question to you gentle reader;
What’s the betting though that even without seeing the trailer or the film that you wouldn’t be able to guess what the general plot is?
Captain Jack needs to get checked out for STDs? Captain Jack goes to school to become an accountant? I’m sure all those would be excellent adventures in their own right, but no, it’s sadly not to be.
For film number 5, it seems that our hero / comic relief / god knows what he is any more, Jack Sparrow (once again played by Johnny Depp) has done something awful when he was a wee pirate and condemned The great pirate slayer Salad-bar (played with gusto by Javier Bardem) and his crew to a fate worse than death. Being undead and somehow stuck in a state where they can’t set foot on land lest they turn into dust. Their ship also somehow can eat other ships. Er, ok then.
But we get ahead of ourselves, as we find at first a small boy who at first glance, appears to be committing suicide by attaching himself to rocks and then throwing them into the ocean. But nope, it was just to visit his dad, the aforementioned Will Turner, still captain of the Flying Dutchman and starting to look slightly worse for wear for some reason. Yeah, I mean if we went with the logic of the previous films, Will was pure of heart etc. and therefore wouldn’t start turning into coral etc. on his face? Did he start turning to the dark side of the force too?
Cut to several years later, Will’s son is a bloke now and is looking for a trident which basically can free his dad of his curse, and allow him to go back to have more sex with Keira Knightly. Fair enough, can’t say that’s a bad motivation….
One over the top bank robbery which fails later, Jack is down on his luck and trades the compass which always points to what you want for a bottle of booze. This frees Javier Bardem to come after Jack and exact his revenge. So that’s where the title comes from.
We are also introduced to a woman who does science stuff and therefore is a witch and stuff (played by someone). Don’t worry, as well brains, beauty and a boob cleavage which rarely leaves the screen whenever she’s on, she’s also Will’s son’s love interest for later. Jolly good. She also wants to find the trident for reasons and now everyone is after the bloody McGuffin. What follows is a race against all odds, with various ships being destroyed, Barbossa coming back to cause meh, Ship battles and some resolution to certain open threads which have been hanging out there all this time.
If you’re expecting anything other than a series of epic scenes with grand settings, fighting and some jokes at various points along with Captain Jack not having a clue of what to do, then you’re going to be very disappointed.
It’s certainly got some entertaining parts to it, and certainly the humour hits a lot more than it misses, which is thankful to say the least. The story is complete b*llocks at this point with yet more holes in it than Donald Trump’s Healthcare plan, there’s really no character growth and honestly very few surprises any more. I was more baffled than anything as to how they got the Black Pearl back on the ocean this time after what had to be done to free it from the bottle Jack carried everywhere.
Also, and this was a black mark for sure….. SPOILER, there is a scene right at the end of the credits and well blow me down if they don’t leave it f**king open for yet another film. It’s not the end after all.
It’s a typical summer blockbuster and if you enjoyed the first two films then still soldiered on through the next two films afterwards, then I would say you will enjoy this film for sure. The effects and sound are awesome on the big screen and all will be happy with that at least. If you’re coming in fresh at this point, don’t bother. You will get so lost, you will end up in rehab. Go back to watch the first two films and then decide if you want to carry on. In my opinion, that was when it was at its best. You will have to struggle but you may decide it’s worth it.