Director(s): Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush
Release Date: October 3, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
The rip-roaring adventure—packed with humor, suspense and jaw-dropping special effects—finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack.
The fifth (and possibly final?) entry in Disney’s beloved series, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ sees Henry Turner (Thwaites), the son of now cursed Will Turner (Bloom) intent to uncover the truth of the mystical and ever-powerful Trident and therefore save his father. Meanwhile, the ever resilient pirate Jack Sparrow (Depp) and his faithful crew remain up to their usual tricks, but once Jack makes a tragic mistake, a swarm of Ghost Pirates led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem) are unleashed and begin to take over the sea, wiping out every pirate crew they come across in their ultimate hunt for Jack, the man Salazar deems responsible for their curse. Reluctantly joining forces with Henry and the dastardly Captain Barbossa (Rush) in order to stand any chance at success (and to further their own personal agendas naturally); the race for the ultimate prize has begun.
Directed this time around by duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (Bandidas) from a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can), Rønnin and Sandberg do a pretty solid job at the helm of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No tales’ easily capturing the tone and style and smoothly guiding it along its course. The latest installment in the franchise features a notable cast that once again includes a number of new and returning individuals to the series including Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands), Javier Bardem (Skyfall), Geoffrey Rush (Gods of Egypt), Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner), Kevin McNally (TV’s TURN: Washington’s Spies), Brenton Thwaites (Maleficent), Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings) and more, nearly all delivering capable and fitting performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ takes viewers on another fun, laugh filled and visually spectacular journey with your favorite pirate lowlifes as they pillage, plunder and stumble along into another legendary quest filled with ancient myths, unexpected dangers and of course ghost pirates (and even some ghost sharks for good measure). The fifth and latest installment in the series suffers somewhat from the repetitiveness and the lack of too many spectacular and groundbreaking moments to offer, instead recreating and reforming many previous concepts for another go around. It also delivers some heartfelt moments and of course no shortage of swashbuckling (and gorgeous) action to keep fans appeased. It’s by no means a terrible film, but it is certainly one of the weaker entries in the franchise. Fortunately the numerous positive elements it has going for it including the usual beautiful scenery and action sequences make certain that it’s still incredibly enjoyable to say the least. First time directors to the franchise Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg guide the film along quite capably and it also benefits a great deal more from a wonderful cast yet again led by Johnny Depp of course. I would strongly urge fellow fans of the franchise to make a point of trying to at least give ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ a watch when you have the chance. It’s certainly not the finest entry in the series, but it definitely still manages to serve up most of the goods fans have come to love and appreciate and as a whole it should have little trouble keeping fans of the previous four films thoroughly entertained throughout at least the majority of its duration.
Overall, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ returns viewers to the pirate infested high seas as Jack Sparrow and more of your franchise favorites embark on another epic quest for a mythical item that has the potential to change everything. The latest installment in the beloved Disney film franchise suffers a few hiccups such as repetitive and tired concepts and its inability to contribute much noteworthy or new to the series which doesn’t do it any favors. Fortunately the visually breathtaking action scenes, and all of the humorous and goofy fun it does provide helps to make up for quite a bit of the negative and fellow longtime fans should also appreciate seeing some familiar faces once again, albeit only briefly for some. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ definitely earns my recommendation for any fans of the previous four films and while it’s nowhere near the finest entry in the series, it still brings plenty of laughs, goofy fun and gorgeous action to guarantee that any real fan of the franchise definitely won’t want to miss out on the latest installment. It should have no trouble whatsoever proving well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the very least for anyone that enjoys the series and hasn’t yet had the pleasure of the latest (and perhaps final?) entry.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and just downright gorgeous presentation from start to finish that suffers no noticeable faults throughout. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Disney that should easily thrill the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack offers a perfect complement to the film with its crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to immerse viewers within the on-screen action and fun, sending tons of bullets, explosions, debris, water sloshing, folks yelling and a great deal more regularly zipping throughout the various speakers, and never allowing any dialogue or other simultaneously occurring audio elements to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is an outstanding and quite aggressive 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes a great deal of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ includes some noteworthy extras that fans of the franchise should appreciate. Included on the release is an in-depth, multi-part look behind the scenes with ‘Dead Men Tell More Tales: The Making of a New Adventure’ (running approximately 48 minutes in length) which features behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus much more. We are also treated to a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 3 minutes altogether), plus ‘Bloopers of the Caribbean’ (approximately 3 minutes) and a ‘Jerry Bruckheimer Photo Diary’ (2 minutes).