Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) forms another unlikely alliance, this time with youngsters Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and Will Turner’s son Henry (Brenton Thwaites). They head in search of the trident of Poseidon. Carina believes it will help her in her quest to find her Father’s identity, Henry hopes it will allow him to release his Father from the curse which holds him as Captain aboard the Flying Dutchman and Sparrow, well, he’s trying to evade falling into the hands of another crew of undead pirates led by Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) who seeks revenge for leaving them in their undead state some years previously.
There isn’t really a lot to say with regard to the cast. Johnny Depp provides his trademark Jack as does Geoffrey Rush as the returning Barbossa. There’s some interesting introductions to both Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario. After what I thought to be shaky starts for both I thought they settled down nicely, particularly Scodelario who grew into her role as the film progressed. Thwaites was a good choice to take on the role of Will’s son. He carried a sincere nature and gallantry you would expect from the offspring of Turner and Swan. Of course, we know all about Javier Bardem and his now seemingly unshakeable bad guy image and nothing changes this here although, this being Disney, it’s all a little more tongue in cheek for the Pirates adventure.
I enjoyed the film, it’s as simple as that really. There’s nothing very new here, if at all. It’s the usual mix of action, adventure and comedy you’ve come to expect from the series whilst still maintaining that darker edge of pirate curses although it does seem to get lighter with each instalment. I found some of the CGI around Javier Bardem a little hard to accept and didn’t really help him appear all that menacing, quite the opposite but for the most part the effects and actions sequences were at the level the film should be aspiring to. Some welcome returns, however brief, and a nice little cameo from a Beatle made for a satisfactory couple of hours without reaching the level of the very first movie but performs at least on a par with the best of the rest. It will be interesting to see, with the introduction of new younger characters, where Pirates goes next. It’s fair to say “No Jack, no Pirates” but is there maybe a plan that goes against that theory or, as is the way with Disney, can we expect some spin-off movies? Time will tell but if they can maintain this satisfactory or better level of entertainment then you can count me in.
3/5 Stars – Brings home the usual booty without the crown jewels.