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Whether you like it or not, Disney is hell-bent on continuing the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise no matter what. And so here we have Dead Men Tell No Tales, a fifth instalment attempting to reconnect the series to some familiar, once discarded characters in an original way.

Not so much a Jack Sparrow spin-off this time, the film sees Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), Will Turner's (Orlando Bloom) son, set out on a lifelong quest to find the Trident Of Poseidon in order to break his father's curse. With the help of a down-and-out Jack Sparrow and accused "witch" Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), an expert in astronomy and horology, he sets sail for the Devil's Triangle but the undead and frankly pissed-off Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) is on their trail as he attempts to capture and kill Jack Sparrow, who once cursed him to sail the seas forever like a zombie ghost. Story-wise, this isn't too far off from the last movie which was about three different crews competing to find the Fountain Of Youth. Add to that a cursed crew not unlike Barbossa's in the first movie and the fact that the ultimate goal is to regress the franchise back to Dead Man's Chest or At World's End and you've got yourself arguably the least original entry into the franchise so far.

Say what you will about On Stranger Tides, at least there was some ambition in trying to move past the original trilogy but here, you just feel like everyone is going through the motions, shamelessly wasting time in order to subtly reboot the series. Which is not to say that this new movie isn't without its charm: Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) have their moments, Javier Bardem's show-stealing villain is gross and intimidating and the action sequences are mostly epic and look great. That said, the introduction of two more Will and Elizabeth clones in Henry and Carina is tiresome as they offer no charisma or laughs and have zero chemistry together, Johnny Depp is on auto-pilot giving his worst performance as Jack Sparrow, the CGI is clunky at times, the film is packed with plot-holes, corny jokes and its cool new villain is sadly underused. Not to mention that, ultimately, the promise of more of what we've already seen time and time again isn't exactly making me pre-book my tickets for the next movie.

While as pure popcorn entertainment this new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie is fine since it has enough mindless action and energy to keep you going, as a sequel to a once ridiculously fun franchise it is surprisingly underwhelming and its lack of creativity does not bode well for future instalments. Here's hoping they give creepy old Captain Salazar his own spin-off movie instead.


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