As my daughter was growing up, like every child she had the things she adores. The things I can recall that she enjoyed the most were a blanket and any and all things Pirates of the Caribbean. We did it all, even going to Disneyland where she rode only that ride and nothing else. The movies though is where it started and let’s face it the movies made wanting to be a pirate a cool again. The first films felt like a great cinematic ride and they delivered a lot of fun as well as introduced us to characters that would stick with us forever. Four films later they have lost some of their luster, but after six years can the shine come back again?
William (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth( Keira Knightley) are not really in the picture anymore, I mean with Will being all cursed aboard the Flying Dutchman. Their son Henry (Brenton Thwaites) though wants to break his father’s curse and he will need the help from an old friend of his parents. Henry seeks out the legendary Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to help him find an item that will break all the curses in the ocean. While searching for Sparrow, young Henry gets himself caught and meets Carina (Kaya Scodelario) who is the missing piece to the puzzle to free his father. Kyra you see has the map to the item that is needed, and only together can they find it. Things are never easy in Sparrow’s world as they must avoid Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and past enemies in order to retrieve the item before they do.
While I never went to Disney to ride nothing but the Pirates ride like my daughter, I did enjoy the franchise. I enjoyed it because it has that feel of those Errol Flynn films and because it was just plain fun. While the series lost some of its fun and it has gone on, it has kept enough to let me enjoy them. Six years though is a long time between films and it seems in that this time they are unable recapture that sense of fun. I think that has a lot to do with Bloom and Knightley being replaced by Thwaites and Scodelario. With the first two you always felt chemistry between them, but with the replacements it feels like a working relationship.
Also missing was the things that made Jack Sparrow who he was, with us only getting a taste of it when we first see Jack again. Sure he is still doing he best Keith Richards impersonation, but with age he is starting to sound more like a drunk Dudley Moore from “Arthur”. The film still looks good, but what is missing is the magic that made the first two films so special. Instead of walking out with a smile on my face I left thinking did anyone else feel let down? “Dead Men Tell No Tales” has it bright spots, particularly Bardem who is the best villain the film franchise has had. I wanted “Pirates” to discover its fun again, but while it finds a little, it doesn’t feel natural. This film will not shiver any timbers, and while there might be some who will love it, I am sure it is no longer a Pirate’s life for me.