Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead men tell no tales (3½ Stars)

In my opinion this film can be written off as an unnecessary sequel. The original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, made from 2003 to 2007, was perfect in itself. It had a story to tell, there was a beginning, a middle and an end, and when you walked out of the cinema at the end of the third film you were satisfied that you knew it all. Only if you stayed to the very end, of course. It was the after-credits scene in "At World's End" that rounded off the story. Nowadays there are many films that have after-credits scenes, but the Pirates of the Caribbean films were the first to have after-credits scenes that were essential to the plot. For instance, the second film makes no sense if you haven't seen the after-credits scene of the first film.

"On stranger tides", the fourth film in the series, was touted as the first film in a new trilogy. Despite its big success at the box office it was beset with problems. The critics hated it. Its special effects made it the most expensive film ever made, a record which it still holds. The viewing public criticised the absence of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.

"Dead men tell no tales" shares the same jumble of real world naval battles and supernatural elements that we know from the previous instalments. If anything, this film keeps the real world to a minimum and concentrates on the supernatural. The new character Carina Smyth is in the centre. She alone knows the secret of map that no man can read, a map that leads to the Trident of Poseidon. This is a legendary artefact that can allegedly break every curse on the sea, including the one that befell Will Turner in the third instalment.

The fifth film rounds off the story once more. We don't need a sixth film, but we'll get one anyway.

I need to watch the first three films again. Last week I finally unpacked all my DVDs, which had been in boxes since I moved to Germany ten months ago. Now I have no excuse not to watch and re-watch my favourite films.

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