Initial reaction: That was better than I thought the fifth installment of a dying franchise would be.
- Main Production Company: Disney
- Director: Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
- Writer(s): Jeff Nathanson (screenplay)
- Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem
- Stand-out Performances: Kaya Scodelario, because this film is really about her character.
Let me start by saying that this film ultimately works because it ties back and brings a satisfying end to the original trilogy. It features some great action sequences, a relatively basic plot (compared to the previous films), and all of the nostalgia you could ever want. I will admit that the movie spends the bulk of its energy on newcomer Kaya Scodelario’s character, Carina Smyth, and her quest to connect with her father, whom she has never met. Nonetheless, this choice makes for a great ending, so try not to let it deter you from seeing the film.
While surprisingly entertaining, Pirates 5 does come up short when developing its most iconic character: Captain Jack Sparrow. In the first three movies, and arguably in the fourth, Jack is portrayed as a dirty, rotten scoundrel – charming, witty, and even a little crazy – but what makes him so fun to watch is that he eventually comes out on top as the smartest person in the room. Despite his lunacy, he is always a step ahead of his antagonists, using the “right amount of leverage” to bring everything together in his favor. However, in Pirates 5, Jack is regrettably shown as a washed-up joke, down on his luck and lacking any path or purpose. He is a certified drunk and really has no stake in the game at all, other than ridding himself of the ghostly, vengeful Captain Salazar (Bardem), a foe he outsmarted and killed in his youth.
Nevertheless, Pirates 5 delivers an exciting, and, dare I say, emotional ending to its original tale. True to form, there are elements of randomness and unnecessary plot points, but ultimately, it’s a ride that this viewer never expected to enjoy.
Now, do we need another one? Absolutely not. But how about that after-credit scene, folks!
The Ruling: See it at some point, if only to feed your nostalgia.
*Featured Image courtesy of Google Images.