Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Review - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

The imagery makes the experience magical. If only the story and acting was up to par with the art itself then I believe the movie would have surpassed expectations and even receive more praise then the last four films.


Re-titled in the movie as – Salazar’s Revenge

I love the series and Capt. Jack Sparrow most of all, “it’s a pirates life for me” I’d sing! The romance, the myths, the sword-fighting and Jack’s cunning, an exciting life I wanted to be apart of. Sadly, the final boat ride weakly stirs up these emotions.

The final instalment appears as a cheap comedic skit instead of the serious and good humoured franchise that it is. The filmmakers knew this would be the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie. They faced outstanding pressure to achieve justice and success but I knew they were working too hard. The script was always re-written and the release dates were delayed. Everything was always changing, nobody ever satisfied. This project ultimately was doomed to fail and I can honestly say that in my heart I knew that I will too be dissatisfied. 

The plot is comprised of some great individual ideas. However, they are lightly visited or explored. Such as what caused Will Turner to have Davy Jones’s curse on the Flying Dutchman if not of a bad heart? Or Elizabeth Swan’s small involvement in this story. What happens to her in all this time? She doesn’t resemble the determined Elizabeth Swan I remember. It comes out as a mess. Not an unclear mess, but a mess where the story is rushed.

The new faces hardly impact the movie. Young buccaneer Henry and astronomer Carina give reason to involve everyone else, they cause the movie's plot. But they're forgettable faces with forgettable lines and love story.

Unlike the previous movies, the film seems incapable of expertly making subtle scene jumps to show what’s happening independently to characters who are separated by circumstance. An example of what I mean is shown in the third Pirate’s movie, ‘At World’s End’ with the prospect of Davy Jones Locker. ‘Dead Man Tell No Tales’ really does not tell tales. Well at least not any tales with the detail we would like and need to fully understand the tale’s significance.

Some ideas and scenes, such as Salazar's curse or the gallows in St. Martin, have already been used to the fullest extent in the last movies, making this 5th instalment unoriginal in some cases. Even Henry Turner’s pursuit to release his father like William did before him is boring. In addition, I don’t think new music has been composed for this final debut, hearing Zimmer’s old Pirate’s compositions all throughout the movie. Numerous pieces used in the fifth film is most definitely extracted from ‘Stranger Tides’. The script relies too heavily on comedic effect. You can hear as a person in the audience how forced some lines are. Some scenes are not even necessary, such as Paul McCartney’s cameo appearance. Admittedly, some lines will catch you and force a burst of laughter due to the utter futility and stupidity of it. I wish it didn’t make me laugh because it just made me mad to think that this is the final product. They missed the idea of what these pirates symbolise, at least to me. This movie is certainly different compared to its ancestors.

An unexpected peculiarity is how different these iconic characters are portrayed. Johnny Depp doesn’t play Jack. He plays any other one of his characters with a highly pitched voice and a flimsy demeanour, very reminiscent of the mad hatter. Similarly, as of recent Orlando Bloom cannot act any new or old character without being angry and gruff. They’re completely different. It's expected and natural for time to cause change but the essence of a person does not dissipate into thin air. Happily, towards the end of this movie you get to glimpse the true personalities of your favourite characters. 

Also, as an interesting fact, you get see many familiar faces from the Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit franchises as subsidiary members in the Pirates world, such as Ori and Faramir. Personally, I wish Ragetti and Pintel would have also made a final appearance in this ‘reunion’, more than the two hilariously dim-witted bantering lieutenants, but I do appreciate the lieutenants’ efforts.

Lastly, CGI and the artistic vision was impeccable. At least on this front it cannot displease. The imagery makes the experience magical. If only the story and acting was up to par with the art itself then I believe the movie would have surpassed expectations and even receive more praise then the last four films.

I cried at the end. Tears with unknown cause, unknown emotion, just meant to be and feeling right, appropriate. Tears unrelated to the movie in particular, perhaps, tears shed for my parting and the ending’s happiness. At the end of the day, even if I disagree and dislike how the director chose to produce this story and the story into film, even with the hard to get over beginning, I LIKE this movie.

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