Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

This monstrous cinematic mess joins a crowded field for 2017.

Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No TalesDead men may tell no tales, but live reviewers shouldn’t either after seeing this disaster. There is absolutely nothing new in this “new” Pirates film, and the audience must have been almost as embarrassed as the actors themselves.

This is a film that goes where all of the prior movies have gone before. Johnny Depp’s performance as Captain Jack Sparrow is as bone-crushing boring as his recent re-creation of The Mad Hatter in the equally lamentable Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). He is supposed to be a funny drunk, but the only thing a drinking person gains from his performance is a firm desire to join AA.

Geoffrey Rush and Javier Bardem recreate their roles as Barbossa and the sinister Captain Salazar to little effect. They are both fine actors, but even they can’t make a cinematic silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

Two relative newcomers, Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario, come along for the ride to try to help the inebriated Captain Jack save his own life. Though a love story develops, it becomes idiotically irrelevant. And I should note that Ms. Scodelario’s cleavage is amply on display in every scene. She joins what I call “The tits-a-floppin’” crowd.

If you saw the two Hangover sequels, then you know that relatively good initial films can’t be repeated in any meaningful fashion. This film was as dead in the water as most of the pirates, and it is time for Mr. Depp to move on and rediscover his acting strengths.