Officially subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales (or Salazar’s Revenge, depending where you live), this bloated paycheque party is only the fifth in the franchise though it feels more like the 25th. In truth I’ve never ventured into this franchise before, never had even a pique of interest despite Sean proclaiming some love for the first, but it’s what was playing at the drive-in this weekend, so we all but must.
Now, keeping in mind that watching a movie from the comfort of your own car does have its advantages, I present to you my official synopsis of the film: Orlando Bloom has boils. His son vows revenge. Cut to: his son is now old enough to assemble a proper rescue, and it somehow involves the Johnny Depp pirate who is a drunken lout (does this feel less funny now that Johnny Depp’s an actual abusive drunk?) and Geoffrey Rush who is a greedy lout, and Javier Bardem who is a dead lout with floaty hair. Because these three old dudes demand such hefty paycheques, the production has no money left and hires two unknowns in the lead. Orlando Bloom’s son (“the traitor”) and a random curly-haired wench (“the witch”) somehow decide their fates are entwined and they both have to use Johnny Depp to get what they want. Buzzfeed, Buzzfeed, Buzzfeed, lots of boats, gruesome ghost sharks, creepy CGI young Johnny Depp, Buzzfeed, Buzzfeed, Buzzfeed, everyone lives happily ever after, except those who don’t.
So yeah, you caught me. I spent a lot of time on my phone during this movie, just trying to quell the boredom. This was not a great entry point into the series. Actual Buzzfeed articles I deemed more worthy of my time than this film: Literally Just A Bunch of Queer Tweets That Will Make You Proud AF, 17 Photos of Weddings So Disastrous They’ll Make You Laugh Until You Cry (I did neither), 19 Hilarious ‘Worst Summer Job’ Tweets That Will Make You Cringe and Laugh (I did neither), Here’s Why I Could Never Be A Server, This Family Threw A Quinceañera For Their Cat, And It’s Everything (it’s not, but it’s pretty good and I don’t even like cats), This Guy’s Genius McDonald’s Hack Has People Shook (I felt relatively unshaken myself, but I guess I just have a pretty high threshold for creating my own secret menu items).
Which is not to say that you won’t enjoy the movie. If you’re a swashbuckler, I think you can manage to be entertained. Sure it’s hollow and derivative, but it’s the best damn 5th installment of a franchise based on a mildly popular amusement park ride that I’ve ever seen. The CGI looks expensive as hell and that dead shark sequence would have been really cool had it not been entirely spoiled in the trailers. Plus there’s a needless cameo by Paul McCartney and some blatant sexism and transphobia. What’s not to love?