So I watched this just a day after it came out and (weeks later) I’m still not sure if it was all that good or not. It seems more like a nostalgia trip than anything. Ever notice how the PotC films seem to follow a very specific character layout? Being Jack, a woman and another guy. Through the first three films the other two were Will and Elizabeth; with Barbosa constantly changing sides at the flip of a coin. In On Stranger Tides, the leads were Jack, Angelica and the missionary. Now we have Jack, Henry (Will and Elizabeth’s son) and Carina. Or am I the only one who’s noticed this?
And what’s with the different titles? I get that sometimes words don’t have an equal translation in another language and some regions take offence to certain words but what’s wrong with ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’? Why did South Africa get stuck with ‘Salazar’s Revenge’? Did our rating board think the title was offensive? How would it even be offensive? Who even came up with the title ‘Salazar’s Revenge’? ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales is considerably better – and it’s an actual line in the film.
The film picks up quite a few years after On Stranger Tides, and Jack hasn’t quite figured out how to get the Black Pearl out of her bottle, so the crew don’t really even have a ship. They try to rob a bank, by stealing the entire vault itself, but the whole thing goes wrong and in the end they don’t actually have anything to take from the little misadventure. Jack gets caught and is to have his head lopped off with the newly invented guillotine. It is here that he and Carina (who is about to be hanged for witchcraft) officially meet each other. Henry, having previously met both of them, helps them escape and so they begin the search for the Trident of Poseidon – each for their own reasons, of course.
Somewhere along the line, Jack gave up his compass, and apparently giving up the compass will release one’s greatest fear – in Jack’s case, pirate hunter Captain Salazar Armando, who Jack trapped in the Devil’s Triangle way back at the start of his pirating career. This opens up something of a plot hole – seeing as we have seen Jack give the compass away before, but hey, forget about plot holes and just enjoy the movie for what it is: a horrible pirate film that we’ll all enjoy anyway because it’s got Captain Jack Sparrow.
Oh, and if you thought you’d be seeing much of Will or Elizabeth, you’d be wrong; Will gets less than one minute of screentime and Elizabeth only gets a few seconds.