PoTC5: Dead Man Tell No Tale, Review
To start off, this fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Dead Man Tell No Tale, is a steaming pile of horse manure. If wasn’t made obvious in the fourth movie, On Stranger Tides, they have long since jumped the shark. The only reason this movie gets any rating at all is because they made some funny jokes, that’s it. The story plot not only conflicts with truths established in the previous movies, a lot of what is going on makes no sense and is left unexplained unlike the previous movies.
Dead Man Tells No Tale takes place many years after the original trilogy, follows Henry Turner, the son of Will and Elizabeth as he desperately searches for Captain Jack Sparrow in order to gain his aid in searching for the Trident of Poseidon, which legends tell holds the ability to break any sea related curse, so he can reunite with his long-lost father. This brings us to the first plot hole, Will, being the captain of the Flying Dutchman and an undead entity that disallows him to set foot on land accept once ever decade is the result of a bargain originally made between Davey Jones and Calypso, not a curse.
In the beginning of the movie, one of the two antagonists that our heroes meet is a British Royal Navy Leftenant Scarfield. Scarfield is first introduced when he is searching the town for Carina Smyth, a young intelligent woman, that for some unknown reason has been branded a witch, and for some unknown reason it is his job to hunt her down. He also sentences Henry (who was picked up after his ship was destroyed by the undead pirate hunter Salazar) to death for cowardice without a trial. Scarfield is also presented as if he is going to be an important character, but he is quickly killed off by Salazar in the middle of the movie.
When Jack Sparrow, the franchises’ lead role, who is a washed-up drunkard has been that has hit rock bottom so hard that he trades his ever-precious magical compass for a bottle of rum, he causes a chain reaction that frees the Salazar from his prison. Captain Salazar was a pirate hunter that jack meet in his youth and tricked into entering a location called the Devils Triangle which destroyed his ship, killed his crew and cursed them to an undead existence, unable to leave the Triangle. (Unlike Cortez’s cursed gold or Davey Jones’ bargain with Calypso, this is left unexplained with no back story.) However, by trading the compass he “betrayed” it, and it somehow had the power to release Salazar from the Triangle, allowing him to hunt down Jack. Another problem that arises here is that this movie has jack inheriting the compass from his captain at a young age, however, earlier in the franchise they already made it clear that he received it from Calypso. Finally, the last problem with this event is that Jack trades the compass with the assumption that he has no money to afford his rum, but earlier he is clearly shown pocketing a gold piece, which would have more than covered the amount needed.
After the three protagonists meet up and head off on their adventure, it is reviled that the map to the Trident of Poseidon, cannot be read by any man. However, the book that it is laid out on was written by Galileo Galilei, a man. The movie also strongly suggests that the pirates were idiots who didn’t know how to navigate by the stars, which is absurd, star charts were one of the only ways to navigate when in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight, as veteran seamen they would have had to have known as a necessity of life.
Then there is Barbosa, after claiming ownership of the queen Anne’s Revenge, Barbosa creates a pirate fleet and takes control of the seas, however, when Salazar is released he starts hunting pirates again and that included Barbosa’s fleet. Knowing that if he doesn’t do something he will lose all his treasure, and learning that Salazar is hunting Jack, and that Jack is hunting for the Trident of Poseidon, Barbosa comes up with the brilliant idea of making a deal with Salazar to spare his ships and crew and in exchange he will lead him to Jack, with the magic compass he was somehow able to obtain from the witch who explained everything to him, just to betray him later in order to obtain the trident for himself. This raises the question as to why he didn’t just forgo meeting with Salazar and just go after Jack and the trident.
When they finally get to the trident, a battler between Salazar and or heroes’ starts and they eventually figure out that to break all the curses of the sea they have to break the trident. However, when they do so, it also releases Salazar and his crew from his, bringing them back to life. This is a huge plot hole since they were cursed after they died, so by releasing the curse they should return to being dead, not revived.
With the trident destroyed, and the “curses” lifted, Salazar gone for good, everyone lives happily ever after, accept for Barbosa who died saving his long-lost daughter, Carina. Oh yeah, apparently, Barbosa, being a pirate and all decided the best option to do with his motherless daughter would be to drop her off at an orphanage, and he left with her Galileo’s book because it had a large ruby embedded on it, hoping it would help her have a better life. (why he didn’t just cut the ruby off is a mystery). Anyways, Carina, later recognizes him as her father at the last minute before he sacrifices himself due to special star constellation tattooed on her arm. Why would he tattoo that constellation on his arm when would have been meaningless to him?
Some other unexplained fallacies in the film would be when Jack and the gang steal the bank of St. Martin, they use a large team of horses to drag it to their “ship” that is dry docked on some part of the island. How were they never tracked? Pretty sure a large team of horses dragging a safe weighing tons would leave some pretty obvious and unmissable tracks. When the gang saves Jack and Carina from execution, they use a ship cannon that they somehow dragged to the square without anyone noticing. Then there is Salazar’s magical ship that is able to stay afloat and propel itself through the water while being a skeleton its self, oh yeah and it bends to eat other ships. Then there is the part where Salazar commands a band of undead sharks to hunt Jack. Why does he have this power and how would he know he had that power? Lastly, When Salazar takes over Henry’s body, they clearly say how it would be permanent, (which they also don’t explain how they would know especially since they kill everyone they come across.) but once he grabs ahold of the spear, their connection is somehow severed. (Again without explanation) Also, when Barbosa, says how Salazar is infamous for killing thousands of men, he makes a big deal out of correcting him by stating that they were pirates not men, yet he multiple times throughout the movie kills and destroys British Royal Navy ships and sailors who are clearly not pirates.
Finally, the two biggest problems with the movie are Henry and Salazar. Salazar exists for no reason other than to give a monster enemy to hunt Jack and the gang. That’s it, there is no deeper meaning, and he has no real connection to their quest to get the trident and free Will from his “Curse”. And Henry, Henry is supposed to be the main focus of the story and they go to great lengths to express how he has studied ever legend and myth related to the seas in order to find a way to free his dad. However, he is an absolutely pointless character that plays no real part in the story other than to be a deus ex machina that allow Salazar to poses his body to get on land and Kill Jack before they have the chance to break the curse, which ironically leads to all their deaths.
To reiterate, Dead man Tells No Tale, is a terrible movie, so if you liked the first movies don’t watch it as you will be greatly disappointed.