Since Hollywood loves a nostalgic reboot, it’s no surprise that the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise is setting sail again, six years after 2011’s “On Stranger Tides.” For this film, subtitled “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” Disney has hired Norweigan filmmakers Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg who directed the 2012 film “Kon-Tiki.” They’ve delivered a cookie-cutter “Pirates” movie that follows the formula.
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” is strictly color-by-numbers. Mix one swaggering, slurring Johnny Depp, one headstrong young lass in a cleavage-baring corset, and one noble, handsome upstart. Fold in a waterlogged supernatural villain, then haphazardly sprinkle a daring heist, an execution escape and several nautical battles. Finish with an outlandish denouement.
The story concerns young sailor Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), determined to free his father, Will (Orlando Bloom), from a watery cursed existence. Henry thinks the notorious Jack Sparrow (Depp) will help him find the trident of Poseidon to break the curse. It’s a wonder anyone thinks Sparrow can do anything in his rum-sodden state, but Turner links up with the soggy old pirate and a young woman, imprisoned for witchcraft (read: science), Carina (Kaya Scodelario), who claims to have the Map No Man Can Read, astronomical instructions that she thinks will lead them to the trident.
They just have to escape Spanish captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), doomed to a ghostly existence by Sparrow. Carina leads this brigade with her map to the stars, even though no one thinks she knows she’s talking about. Ultimately, this is a film about men not believing women.
One can’t help but think that Depp’s performance here works only because of the groundwork laid in previous “Pirates” pictures.
“Dead Men Tell No Tales” suggests that there might be oceans of “Pirates of The Caribbean” story to discover — perhaps a prequel — but there are no new treasures to be found in this installment.
‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’
Rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content. 2:09. Fayette Mall, Frankfort, Georgetown, Hamburg, Nicholasville, Richmond, Winchester.