Directors: Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg
Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brendon Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, David Wenham
Plot: Captain Salazar, an old enemy of Jack Sparrow, cursed to be a ghost trapped in the Devil's Triangle for decades, finally breaks free and seeks revenge. To save himself, Jack has to find the Trident Of Poseidon, which gives its wielder the power to control the seas. In order to find it, Jack teams up with Will Turner's son Henry and a female astronomer named Carina.
Review: The POTC films are very similar to the Transformers films. They're both loud, lengthy, expensive, doesn't always make sense and not always smart. But it's pure summer entertainment for these two franchises, and that's how I usually approach them. If anyone ever expects them to do something different, they'll be disappointed.
That being said, Dead Men Tell No Tales (or Salazar's Revenge depending on where you're from) is pretty entertaining as a whole. Just accept the fact that Jack Sparrow is on yet another crazy adventure that involves pirates, mystical artifacts, deadly foes and the British army giving chase and you'll be fine. Jack's nemesis this time is Captain Salazar, a ghost captain who had sworn to destroy pirates until he was lured into the Devil's Triangle by Jack many years ago. Now free, Salazar teams up with a reluctant Barbossa, now the chief pirate of the seas, to find Jack. Jack on the other hand, joins forces with Henry, Will Turner's son and Carina, an astronomer to find the Trident Of Poseidon. While Jack wants to save himself, Henry wants to break his father's curse and bring him home, while Carina wants to honor her long lost father's work.
Nowegian directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg keep things moving at a quick pace and manage to tell a solid story while making this the shortest Pirates film ever, which is no minor feat. While the film is not as charming as the Curse Of The Black Pearl, it still has a handful of neat moments, such as the chase sequence that seems inspired by the climactic safe dragging sequence from Fast Five, except it's not a safe but an entire building. There's also a well shot action sequence at an execution square, and another that involves ghost sharks (you'll have to see it for yourself). The script by Jeff Nathanson also allows for some dramatic moments involving Barbossa, Carina and an opening sequence with a young Henry and his father, which definitely adds some layers to the movie.
Johnny Depp easily steps back into the role he was born to play and he hasn't lost a step. Some fans may be tired of him already, but not me. The franchise was built on his back and he still is the key player. Geoffrey Rush scores a few key points here as he gives Barbossa a new side to him in a couple of scenes with Carina. Brendon Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario are clearly this film's version of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, and though they aren't as memorable as the latter two, they do try hard. Thwaites gives Henry the same enthusiasm that Bloom did for Will, while Scodelario is believable as the girl trying to prove her point when very few people believe her. These two eventual lovebirds don't gel as perfectly as Bloom and Knightley though. Javier Bardem is menacing enough as Salazar, but didn't quite get enough time to really make his character memorable, not in the way Bill Nighy did as Davy Jones. Last but not least, David Wenham's Scarfield is a poor substitute for this film's version of Norrington or Beckett, but it surely isn't Wenham's fault. There are a few cool cameos here, which you would know if you've seen all the trailers, but I won't spoil them for you.
There's a wedding sequence in the second act that just came out of nowhere and was unnecessarily played for laughs, which the film didn't really need and could have been left out. I wished Salazar and his ghost ship had more time to make an impact as well, as it is quite a waste of Bardem's talent here.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this fifth and possibly final instalment. They ended it in a way that they can still make a sixth film (based on the post credits scene). If you're a fan of these films, there's no reason for you not to go see this. If you're not, this film won't change your mind. For pure entertainment, I'd say it's pretty solid. (7.5/10)