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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Review

Fans of this Pirates franchise have had to wait six long years for this offering, ever since "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" in 2011.

As we are all aware, the first film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), was quite an unusual concept for a franchise, as it was spawned by a clever animatronic amusement park ride of the same name at Disneyland in Los Angeles. "I don't know any women that's just simple, who can be defined by one word or one sentence, so why should that be what we see in a movie?" Alas, Sparrow turns up something like twelve minutes in, in what is admittedly his best entrance since the original. It tells a much simpler story with a strong emotional core, complete with a dastardly, scary villain.

Things start well enough.

Like Rush, film studio Walt Disney is choosing to listen to the fans - it has brought back the franchise's old favourites Orlando Bloom, 40, and Keira Knightley, 32, this time around, after the pair were conspicuously absent in the previous film. Henry swears he'll do whatever it takes to save his father from his curse.

He is aided brilliantly by Kaya, who makes her new character Carina Smyth a match for Depp when it comes to spiky confidence. It makes it easy to invest in both Henry and Carina, despite being all-new characters. Kaya Scoledario is handsome, funny, and tough as Carina Smyth. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

The great Geoffrey Rush returns as the one-legged Captain Barbossa, who has alternately been Sparrow's ally and his enemy over the decades. All of these story beats work to keep the film moving, but also push the focus away from the emotional core of the film. There's supposedly a big emotional revelation toward the end, but because the movie doesn't spend any time building up to it, it feels more or less like it came out of nowhere - another random element dropped into the script just because.

While all this may sound like there's a lot going on in Dead Men, there really isn't.

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Yet the "Pirates" movies are well liked.

Virtually replaying the first film, this soft-reboot signals that it is far from being "The Final Adventure", as the franchise fires up another salvo of swirling swashbuckling and piratical plotting. It's a whole re-invention of the making of a "Pirates' movie, in the way that they approached it, how they did it and how they do the music".

Javier Bardem is excellent as the Spanish Captain Salazar, even though this is a similar character to Silva in the James Bond movie Skyfall. And every time you need it, Hans Zimmer's iconic theme sweeps up on the soundtrack.

Sparrow is pursued by Barbossa and the dead and decaying pirate hunter, Captain Armando Salazar, played by Spanish star and Oscar victor Javier Bardem. Bardem, in particular, is a very fun villain, and a worthy antagonist for the film. There are some massive revelations that give a real weight to the proceedings and all of those extraneous plot threads weave back together for a very satisfying climax and conclusion.

If you love a good trailer like I love a good trailer, this list is for you.

Dead Men Tell No Tales, but critics sure as shit do!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is out in theaters on Friday (May 26).

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