Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Norwegian Angle

The effects deserved a better movie.
Reported on 10th of June, 2017

Off the back of the unfortunate Departure, one does what one does and compare films that one saw close together. Makes as much sense as by ‘that actor was good in that movie’ or ‘adventure romance with dogs dressed as people.’ Or ‘directed by’.

Time and today was Pirates Whatever Number We’re On, I Looked It Up And It’s Five. Possibly. There Were Video Games. It’s Confusing. It was better than Departure, which means that I’ll accidentally remember it as good. Which it certainly is not.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

10 June 2017 @ The Gaumont Rennes

$3.50 or, if one must be prosaic, and one must... 
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


In a way, you should see it. Like Kong: Skull Island’s water on fur effects, CGI has advanced tremendously. I tend to give CGI a bad name….well it gives itself the bad name, and I rip off the name tag and plaster it here. But when it’s good, as it was here and in Star Wars: Rogue One, it has a kind of spectacle quality that can be very enjoyable. There’s never a risk of believability, danger or plot advance, but in a film like this, so what?

Sr. Javier Bardem and his various dead crew are beautifully rendered – only pieces of them extant, and Sr. Bardem’s hair continually floating as if underwater. The final sequence involving a parted ocean makes it seem that CG may be reaching the level of stunning. I wish only that I had managed to see it in 2D, as the 3D does ruin the the sense, well, dimensionality.

These films tend to be about Mr. Johnny Depp doing stuff. But he only does stuff some of the time. That's the most concise review you're going to get anywhere

Of course, don’t see it, as like the ghost pirates recounted heretofore, it’s only partly there. The good bits are good, but there is generally a lot of filler. These films tend to be about Mr. Johnny Depp doing stuff. But he only does stuff some of the time. That’s the most concise review you’re going to get anywhere.

As to the sequences, there is a very unfortunate tendency on the part of our directors (Hr. Joachim Rønning and Hr. Espen Sandberg) not to know where to put the camera or how scenes progress from one goal and consequence to another. Which is a shame given the rest of the talent on display.

As to the trailer for the new Transformers I’ve Seen Them All and God Help Me I’ll See This One, a slug for ‘Un film de Michael Bay’. It’s finally happened.

Early there’s some silliness with a moving bank, that, again, has a nice payoff with them losing the money as the drag through the 18C street of Barbados With No Slaves Because That Would Make People Uncomfortable. Shot largely in camera (they built a lot of stuff and you can tell), they were going for Mad Max: Fury Road, or Gosh forbid, Mr. Buster Keaton. As the characters jump off and on and intersect and, nothing happens to any of them, you feel instead like you’re watching the end of Speed 2.

This lack of direction is generously extended to the plot of the film, as post-escape, Mr. Depp’s crew abandons him for lack of a boat that can sail. The ingenious solution: it turns out that he does have a boat. Characters meet each other, then forget and then meet again, and eventually they get the fastest ship on the ocean, which is soon overtaken by every other ship. This is because who remembers that draft and so on.

Also fine and fine because this is not a film that would know not to use the same word twice in the same sentence. But after all the set-up of being chased by the authorities on the island who definitely don’t have slaves, the same authorities had the potential to tear the film in new directions, or at least cause some kind new goal or interaction. Instead, they are just killed immediately.

It was odd, and I kept waiting for them to come back in some kind of post-dead pre-sequel twist. But no, after all the running around, they were unceremoniously gone, and I realized I was watching the film equivalent of someone (ahem) who had forgotten to check for typos.

The effects deserved a better movie.

The Take

The only-half-there bird gets big points. He was creep-dorable!
I saw it for the effects, and they were there.
The guillotine bit, Mr. Depp filmed spinning around as the blade goes up and down, was really worth the price of admission. The good bits were very good.
In a moment with which I concur, Mr. Depp actually dozes off during some of the very, very long exposition. It doesn’t make it better, but maybe it does.
‘I saw her ankles!’ is a great line, belongs in the movie that is as good as the effects.
Total Profits
In an odd twist, the backstory rule is inverted. As 10-year-old our almost Saved By The Bell bland lead Mr. Brenton Thwaites goes to find father Mr. Orlando Bloom by tying himself to a rock and dropping into the ocean to go to the ghost ship, I wanted to know about that kid. They needed more backstory. Yes, I wished there was more of this movie…
…by cutting out all the parts that Mr. Depp’s character slept through.
Total Losses


Thoughts on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

  1. Mary says:

    My only question would be does Johnny Depp still survive as a character by making fun of Keith Richards in drag, and if so why? I say ‘would be’ to represent that huge “if I actually went to see the movie,” which of course I’m not going to because then I would be directly contributing to Depp’s legal defensive team expenses/ profits/ existence, and I might be subjected to 1/2 hour of Coke commercials as well. Both of which makes the condition of seeing the movie impossible. Besides, special FX/ no plot is definitely the most annoying genre, not because the movie is thus a waste of time, but because ‘they’ obviously assume the audience is too stupid to notice or care, and 98% of the time, they are right. No wonder Depp snoozed through his role, I mean, why not? Just like pretending to be a drunken tranny posing as Keith Richards. Yay, the parents say, yay!! This is worthy of a Disneyland ride, all unto itself!!! Going right past subterranean, members only Club 33!! The tribute to soul piracy and billion dollar profits off of bullshit—the tribute!

  2. Scott Scott says:

    Maybe you should be writing this.

    Though I did fail to mention a cameo by Sir Paul McCartney as Old Prison Croney, so I’m no longer sure whom Mr. Depp is channelling anymore. I suspect that these films are a factor of age, that they last as long as the twelve year olds who saw the first one take to grow up. I can only hope the same will be true of me.

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