All original written content is (c) 2017 Mike Pascale. Visual content is (c) its respective owners. Bru-Hed art is ©2012 and a trademark of All Ages Media and Mike Pascale.
NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
Written by Jeff Nathanson from a story by Nathanson and Terry Rossio (based on characters by Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert). Directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (yes, it took two dudes to make this one sail!)
- Top-notch special effects as you’ve come to expect. The CG on Captain Salazar and his undead crew are another technological marvel/milestone, just like “squid face” Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) was in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST. Same with the young CG (?) Johnny Depp. Add the sea CG, a ship-eating Pirate ship, the Pearl-in-a-bottle, and practical effects/stunts like pulling a building down a street, and you have one entertaining thrill ride.
- As stunts go, some were just extremely clever and entertaining. I guarantee you’ve never seen a guillotine gag filmed like this before!! I laughed enough to pee a little.
- For those who remember the whole Will Turner (Orlando Bloom)/Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) relationship from the first movie, you’ll be happy to see it referenced, even if it’s only a cameo and a few mentions. At least they tie it up (more or less).
- A glimpse of Captain Jack as a confident pirate-in-training teenager before becoming a boozer.
- Casting is good. The main characters were all fine. Bardim and Rush were the standouts and young Scodelario’s character was believable and held her own within a sausage fest. Look for a cameo by Paul “Beatles who?” McCartney (in heavy makeup) in the jail scene!
- Speaking of sausages, mine was happy to see Carina wearing one of those super “smashing pumpkins” bras and corsets of the era, providing some classic cleavage. As Henry mentions in one of the trailers, we also get to see her ankles as well (see “Cons” below).
- For those who’ve grown tired of Johnny Depp’s character, or didn’t care much for him in the first place, he really seems to not get major screen-time here, at least not in terms of lines. (He’s pretty much been explored enough anyway.) Pretty much equal focus between him and the other four. That’s a nice refreshing change.
- Story seemed easier to follow than previous installments, made sense and had a decent resolution. Nice character twist near the end as well, even if you may see it coming (I didn’t).
- A good amount of light-hearted and comedic moments. Less plain goofiness and less dark/gruesome stuff. A bit of romance as well, but nothing syrupy.
- Stay for the button after the end credits…a familiar silhouette and a dramatic lead-in to the next installment.
- Suspension Of Disbelief Department: This is still a Disney fantasy flick based on a theme-park ride. So you’ll have to put aside the physics and logic for a couple hours. (F’r instance, it probably takes more than a dozen horses to pull an entire building across the ground!)
- Along the above lines, there are a few convenient coincidences for the script, and some superhuman efforts from the regular humans.
- At least one decent character joins Davy Jones at the ocean bottom. (Though you never know with this franchise—they could always find a way back some way!)
- A hot babe takes off her dress and all we get to see is her ankles!
- Said babe is a great role model for the “strong woman” type in today’s movies, but not sure how historically accurate that behavior would be. The sexism of the times is on display, though, not in a good way (smart women be witches?), but it is poked fun at.
- Johnny Depp still looks like he could use a few showers, even after falling into the sea!
If you hate this franchise or Johnny Depp, this won’t suddenly convert you. But if you’re like me and were entertained by the early ones and a bit disappointed over the last couple, this one is for you. I thought it was tighter and more fun while still being thrilling. Nothing Oscar-worthy or critic-pleasing, but a good ride that looks cool while you’re on it. (Didn’t see it in 3D so no comment. Was happy as is) A Pirate’s film fer me! Arrrrh!!
P.S.: How about your own pirate art? You or a pal as Captain Jack? Have Pascale do it right for a price that’s a steal. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed by Bru-Hed are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, the crew of the Black Pearl, zombie pirates, British soldiers, hot chicks in corsets, hot guys in pirate shirts, or the tourism board of the Caribbean. Bru would love to be a pirate for a while, as long as he could bring Dramamine and Pudweiser with him.