Captain Jack Sparrow comes face to face with his past

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales tells the story of the beginning of Captain Jack Sparrow.

Six years after his appearance in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” Jack Sparrow, portrayed by Johnny Depp, finally returns to the screen in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” — my bad, there should be a Captain in there somewhere. 

This fifth and final addition to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series provides closure to important aspects of the plot while extending the series in a potentially unnecessary way.

According to charts on the box office history for the series, the ticket sale numbers skyrocketed after the first movie. However, out of the first four movies, the fourth film was the only one that didn’t surpass the first film’s box office numbers.

The numbers directly correlate with the quality of each film in the series. The first three movies were successful because they maintained the central essence of the series with Sparrow’s lunatic humor, the battles at sea and the twisted love stories with characters that the audience fell in love with in the beginning.

In contrast, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” stray too far from these classic themes of the first three films. 

The fourth film didn’t even include Orlando Bloom as Will Turner and Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann and the new film only includes them for a few brief moments. Excluding these two protagonists from the central plot make the films seem detached from the first three films in the franchise.

While one of the main characters in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” was Turner and Swann’s son, the film was focused more heavily on other parts of the plot, such as running from Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar, which made this reviving component seem more like a background part of the movie.

Even the soundtrack differs too much from that of the other movies. The film brings in new music and alters parts of the traditional theme songs of the movies, again taking away from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” essence.

Depp’s acting is shockingly a disappointment in this film compared to his portrayal of Sparrow in previous films. The success of the franchise could arguably be attributed to the incredible acting by Depp as Sparrow.

While it’s expected that Depp’s acting would be a little different because he’s aged since the last movie, Sparrow himself seems too different from the Sparrow we’ve all come to love in the previous films. Although Depp is still a great actor in the film, it seems as if the role of Sparrow didn’t come as effortlessly as it once had.

On the other hand, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” feels more connected to the series than the fourth movie, since it includes new cursed characters chasing Sparrow and the Black Pearl at sea while the preceding film primarily focused on an adventure on land. 

The series really should’ve bowed out after the third movie, but because Disney went ahead and made a fourth movie that wasn’t up to par with the rest, this fifth movie was needed to wrap up the films and provide closure. 

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is an entirely new adventure even though it’s a letdown from the built-up excitement prior to the film’s release. The movie at least provides needed closure to what’s probably the most heart-wrenching part of the series.

The fifth movie may not get the best reviews from fans of the series, but its ending will at least have them agreeing that it’s a pirate’s life for me.

Shanna Kelly is a freshman media arts and design and Spanish double major. Contact Shanna at kelly3sc@dukes.jmu.edu.

Shanna Kelly is a double major in SMAD (journalism) and Spanish with a double minor in translation and interpretation and honors interdisciplinary studies. In addition to The Breeze, Shanna is also an active member of Kappa Alpha Theta.