Book Reviews

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales


I absolutely LOVE the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. It is one of the reasons why, as a child, I would often tell people I wanted to be a pirate when I grew up. (And, if I’m being honest, I still tell people this.) The first two movies in this franchise are incredible, and it would be difficult to match the perfection achieved with them. However, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is still worth a watch.

This movie starts out by following Henry, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. He is trying to find Poseidon’s trident which will undo the curse that binds Will Turner to the Flying Dutchman, along with every curse on the sea. To find the trident, Henry must first enlist the help of Captain Jack Sparrow, who Henry believes to be some kind of pirate legend. Henry eventually stumbles upon Carina Smyth, an intelligent woman of science. The three are inevitably drawn together because they are all wanted criminals, and together, they have the means to find Poseidon’s trident.

While Henry is trying to find Jack, Captain Salazar is also hunting Jack to get revenge for being the cause of cursing Salazar’s entire crew. This part of the story contains flashbacks, so we are introduced to a piece of Captain Jack’s origin. We get to see him as a young pirate who saves his entire crew from death by pulling off a stunt that U-turns his ship while leading Captain Salazar’s crew right into the Devil’s Triangle. Young Jack then receives the respect of the crew and a nickname: Jack Sparrow.

The thing I admire most about the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is the creative battle/escape scenes. They never cease to amaze me. Some examples from the previous movies include: the fight for Davy Jones’s chest key on the wheel as it rolls across the island, Jack pocketing a piece of eight so he can be undead during his fight with Barbados, and Captain Jack escaping the tribe of cannibals whilst being tied to a pole. Without spoiling anything, scenes such as these are back and as plentiful as ever.


Rum-addled brains. I understand that pirates drink a lot of rum, but I would have enjoyed this film more if it didn’t contain the drunken pirate antics in a time where being serious and paying attention to detail are a must in order to pull off a scheme.

My favorite couple. I’m still a little bitter that Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann aren’t really in this movie, but at least they make an appearance and their story feels concluded.

A questionable pursuit. The main quest seemed to me like a bunch of half-baked theories thrown together that just happen to lead the group exactly where they need to go.

I also think that this movie could have a part two, to further address some compelling revelations from this movie, but another part of me is ready to put this franchise to rest. Their ideas are getting progressively worse. (I thought they were done after the third movie, but then they had to release a fourth that fell short.) But, if there is another Pirates movie, you can bet I will be in line at the theater to check it out!


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