The first reviews for the upcoming fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales have hit the web.
While the film received positive buzz after it was screened at CinemaCon, it has now been met with a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes but the reviews are surprisingly not all that bad. You can check out a roundup of what the critics are saying below.
Variety’s Andrew Barker:
Now, 14 years and four films later, the “Pirates” franchise has finally delivered exactly what cynics had expected all along. Containing only the faintest traces of the spark that turned this once unpromising idea into a nearly four billion-dollar enterprise, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is a mercenary, visually unappealing exercise in brand maintenance. The franchise has lost a bit of its luster with every successive installment, but never has a “Pirates” film felt this inessential, this depressingly pro forma.
The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore:
Things proceed noisily from here, as the pursuit of the Trident attracts the attention of old Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who was practically choking on riches before Salazar escaped the Devil’s Triangle and started killing all the pirates he found. Whether he’s on Sparrow’s side or not is always in question. But Rush will wind up the focus of one of the picture’s more satisfying set-pieces, a fantastical escape evoking everything from The Ten Commandments to the endearingly cheesy blacklight decorations that turn cheap amusement-park attractions into spooky realms of mystery. However manipulative this climactic sequence may be, you can see how it might convince a better-than-this thespian to believe he can have some fun while earning that gigantic paycheck. As for what might draw Bloom and, briefly, Knightley back to the screen, doing nothing other than linking the first few movies to the ones Disney hopes will come? See the aforementioned paycheck.
Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson:
Dead Men Tell No Tales is miles better than On Stranger Tides, and those who wanted a more grounded and less fantastical adventure may prefer it to Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End. I still adore those shoot for the moon blowouts, for their sheer chutzpah, for their grim political commentary and for that time not so long ago when we could never imagine a bigger and more obscenely overstuffed blockbuster than At World’s End. The film, under two hours and relatively level-headed, ends on an elegant and surprisingly moving note. If this is to be the end, it works as a fitting finale.
The Wrap’s Robert Abele:
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” is the most divertingly enjoyable since the first. A professionally crafted brew of action, slapstick and supernatural mumbo-jumbo, it’s less likely to spur timepiece glances than did the last few bloated installments.
USA Today’s Brian Truitt:
After three movies of diminishing quality and a wholly forgettable fourth chapter, Disney’s buccaneer-filled franchise rights the ship with fifth installment Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (*** out of four; rated PG-13; in theaters nationwide Thursday night). Johnny Depp’s drunken Captain Jack Sparrow stumbles into yet another seafaring adventure, which has its rocky moments but also offers an engaging tale with family legacies, above-average swashbuckling and a fantastic new villain courtesy of Javier Bardem.
Empire’s Dan Jolin:
Then there’s the infuriatingly fuzzy mythology. Jack still has his magic compass, which takes you to that which you most desire, but if you lose it you have to face your greatest fear (or something); meaning that when he trades it for a bottle of rum, Bardem’s Salazar announces “he’s given away the compass! We are free!” Huh? So, he and his ghostly seamen are able to escape the cave Jack trapped them in decades earlier and board and destroy other ships… But they’re destroyed if they ever set foot on land. What? Why? Well, because an incoming double-cross wouldn’t work if they could go on land, even though the treacherous character in question had no knowledge of the information on which said double-cross is dependent.
IGN’s Jim Vejvoda
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales manages to be less bloated, dreary, and meandering than the last three entries have been, but it still suffers from many of the same wearisome, dredged-up villains and ho-hum action and comedy that have bedeviled the franchise since its second installment. The film’s biggest positive is that it ultimately has enough heart and offers enough closure for the Pirates franchise to end on not a high note, but less of a low one, should Disney decide this is the final voyage for Captain Jack Sparrow and his mates. And they probably should.
We Got This Covered’s, Matt Donato:
Disney’s latest is no pleasure cruise. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a two-hour movie that feels doubly long, teasing this treasure that’s nowhere to be found. All the greatest franchise hits are played: Sparrow’s Black Pearl, Sparrow’s alcoholism, Sparrow’s fetching comments about whorishness. Only this time you’ll feel like you’re drowning under exposition, and unnecessary side-plots that tangle like a knotted fish net. Too long, too slight and too full of blubber. Here’s hoping that the next inevitable sequel gets back to the more colorful, characterized action of the previous films.