The Pirates franchise has been one of the most successful ones over the past decade or so, with each movie bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide in box office sales. A combination of a strong setting and aesthetic, characters with personality (particularly Jack Sparrow), and enjoyable story lines have kept it as one of Disney’s cinematic giants. However, all things have to end eventually, and at least for this generation we’re seeing an end to the Pirates movie franchise with Dead Men Tell No Tales.
In this movie, we’re treated to a bit of a glimpse of Jack Sparrow’s early years – when he confronted the Spanish pirate hunter, Captain Salazar, and turned him into an old threat that Jack has probably forgotten. At least, until circumstances unleash the undead captain and allow him to chase after Captain Jack once more.
This movie takes the themes of the supernatural and mythical legends of the sea that were uncovered gradually in the old movies and unabashedly has fun with them, featuring one of the biggest McGuffin’s in any oceanic legend – Neptune’s Trident. It makes the movie far more enjoyable when one views it as simply a closing out to the franchise, not to be taken too seriously with regards to the plot line. We see most of the loose ends from the previous films tied up – such as Will Turner’s 10-year curse and the issue of the bottled up Black Pearl.
Aesthetic and music remains fairly solid, keeping the same degree of quality from the prior movies and maintaining for the most part the feel of the Pirates franchise. Nonetheless, one can feel that the film might have had more room for improvement – except that there might have been less felt need for it, given its purpose and that simply leveraging the name of Johnny Depp along with the Pirates of the Caribbean would have sufficed to give it a good showing.
At the end of it all, the movie does fare less spectacularly in technical aspects – although nonetheless serviceable for a movie of its stature. The environmental polish and sharpness in the script isn’t quite as there, but it manages to bring the entire franchise to a competent and emotionally complete close, which is hardly a thing to complain about.