Now I’ll admit I wasn’t mega excited by a new Pirates of the Caribbean movie after all it was a franchise based on a ride and this one in particular felt like a needless cash grab but despite that I was surprised consistently by this movie series.. but hey i’m still waiting for my Splash Mountain movie.
But anyways despite that the movies always rated fairly high on my list of favourite movies because the stories were fun and the characters likeable and quotable…I’ve got a jar of dirt anyone? The movies were consistently good right up until the last movie.
After ‘On Stranger Tides’ flopped I wasn’t expecting much from this latest addition assuming that it had succumbed to sequelitis (a condition where a movies sequels decline in quality) being honest though the last movie struggled because despite being undeniably a main character ‘Jack Sparrow’ can’t bare the direct spotlight of being the only focus of a movie because then his charming eccentricities become annoying. I guess they released that and brought back Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann for this latest movie.
So when I heard about this new movie I wasn’t too excited, I expected it to be equally disappointing and a by product of an industry that won’t let a franchise die while it can make them any money whatsoever. But a few well placed previews genuinely changed my mind on it. The movie at least from the perspective of all the trailers and previews perfectly captured the spirit and charm of the first few films and tied together some dangling plot threads. And as I touched on earlier they clearly took on board criticism from the previous movie and it’s failings and brought back the full cast.
Dead Men Tell No Tales was directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sanders based on a script by Jeff Nathanson. Jerry Bruckheimer (prince of Persia, National Treasure) once again serves as a producer. Johnny Depp returns to his role as Jack Sparrow and Kevin McNally and Geoffrey Rush reprise their roles as Joshamee Gibbs and Hector Barbossa respectively. As I mentioned earlier Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley return to their roles as Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann. Rounding out the cast are Javier Bardem as Armando Salazar, Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner and Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth.
Production of this movie was a long time coming, pre-production starting in early 2011 shortly before the release of the previous movie ‘On Stranger Tides’ with a script being produced at the time. Jeff Nathanson was hired to write a new script in 2013 with help from leading man Johnny Depp. The production process had held up though and delayed because of script and budget issues which meant the movies missed its intended 2015 release and then their updated 2016 release also, finally being earmarked for a 2017 release after many issues. Movies like the Lone Ranger (2013) which had Johnny Depp starring as an equally eccentric character also influences this film, The Lone Ranger flopped and made the Disney question whether they could rely on Johnny Depp as a leading man any longer. Orlando Bloom was quoted as saying that “Basically they want to reboot the whole franchise, I think, and do something with me and the relationship with my son.” And considering they’ve replaced many of the crew members from the previous four films it’s obvious they want fresh blood for this movie, it’s serving both as a soft reboot and a return to its roots (because they also apparently based the script on/were inspired by the curse of the Black pearl which is the first movie in the franchise)
So to sum up my thoughts I think after a misstep or two the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is on to a winner which will breath new life into the series and I feel that they’ll do well with the series now that they understand which aspects of the series work and which don’t.
First Published on: The Student Advertiser (Page 40)