Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a true return to form for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. While the last one, On Stranger Tides, was a bit of a departure from the previous trilogy in its focus on Jack Sparrow, the new film marks a return to the original story beats and characters from the first trilogy. That means Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) make their grand return. It's been a whole movie and about ten years since we last saw the couple. Turner's life changed completely when Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End came to a conclusion.
However, while Turner returns, the movie’s focus is on his son, Henry (Brenton Thwaites). He is searching for a way to end the curse that damned his father to be captain of the Flying Dutchman pirate ship. His quest is to find the item that will remove this curse: the trident of Poseidon. To accomplish this, Henry goes out to seek Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). While Henry has his own reasons for wanting the trident, Sparrow has his own motives. He finds himself being hunted by his first enemy, Captain Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem). Salazar blames Sparrow for trapping him within the Devil's Triangle. Salazar hopes to use the trident in order to make him and his crew human again.
Along the way, Henry meets the daughter of Captain Hector Barbossa, Carina (Kaya Scodelario), who is also seeking the trident herself. When Carina comes into contact with her father (Geoffrey Rush), she is shocked. Even though the father and daughter recognize their connection, it ends up being too late for one of the two characters. In great Pirates of the Caribbean fashion, the film's a story is about the Turner family once more. Henry's quest to find his father is the main plot of the film, which eventually leads to the reunion between the two of them.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is all about a return to the theme of family. While On Stranger Tides took a departure from the initial themes of the first trilogy, it seems that Dead Men Tell No Tales is the start of a new trilogy. One might think that Henry and Carina will be the focus of the new trilogy, taking over the roles of hero and heroine that Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann once occupied. However, if the end credits are to be believed, it seems the sequels will continue to focus heavily on the original hero and heroine.
Depp, Bloom, Rush, Bardem, Scodelario, and especially Thwaites impress in the cast. The newcomers are all well-cast in their roles. It's nice also to see the return of supporting players such as Kevin McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Sparrow's first mate. Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg show an understanding of what made the first trilogy work and avoid the elements that could have made On Stranger Tides not resonate as much with audiences. This latest installment of the Pirates franchise sometimes veers into a little too much comedy and action spectacle. Despite those caveats, it is a true return to what made the original franchise work and promises more great adventures to come.
Book your ticket to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales here.