Check back later for review coming from contributor Alexander Malsan by May 27
glorification of pirating / making pirates seem fun, and perhaps even cute
Jack Sparrow claims in the first film that one can be both “a pirate and a good man.”
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
How can I decide whether a particular activity is wrong? Answer
Fantasy magic and witches
Self-sacrifice and bravery
Importance of families
Astronomy and the Bible
Can astronomy lead a person to God? Answer
|Featuring:|| Johnny Depp … Captain Jack Sparrow
Orlando Bloom … Captain William “Will” Turner, Jr.
Javier Bardem … Captain Armando Salazar
Geoffrey Rush … Captain Hector Barbossa
Keira Knightley … Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner’s wife
Kaya Scodelario … Carina Smyth, astronomer
Stephen Graham … Scrum, a British Royal Navy officer
David Wenham … Scarfield
Brenton Thwaites … Henry Turner, son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann
Golshifteh Farahani … Shansa, a sea-witch
Goran D. Kleut … Pirate Broom
Ben O'Toole … British Executioner
Kevin McNally … Gibbs
Jessica Green … Towns Woman
Paul McCartney … Uncle Jack—uncle of Captain Jack Sparrow
|Director:||Joachim Rønning—“Bandidas” (2006), “Kon-Tiki” (2012)
Espen Sandberg—“Bandidas” (2006), “Kon-Tiki” (2012)
Walt Disney Pictures
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
After many years of sailing the high seas in piracy, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has all but removed himself from the piracy industry. In fact, currently he lives on the land, or rather his junk ship, along with his beloved crew. His crew admits to Jack that his time is over and this his “luck has run out.” Eventually, even Jack admits to himself that he’s not the same pirate in days past.
Meanwhile, while Jack is trading his broken compass (an action he is not permitted to do), the infamous Captain Antonio Salazar has been broken out of the Devil’s Triangle. Salazar has only one thing on his mind… revenge against Jack Sparrow. Indeed, Salazar makes it his mission to kill every pirate he can until he can locate Jack (to tell you why would spoil the movie). On top of that Salazar has enlisted the aid of the now wealthy Captain Barbosa to search for Jack. And on top of THAT, the British Redcoats are after Jack too. Poor Jack.
Jack enlists the aid of Henry, the son of Will Turner, and an astrologist (deemed a witch by the public because of her knowledge of astrology) named Carina Smyth. The only way they will be able to save Jack, help Henry free his father, Will, from his curse, and help Carina discover who she is and what happened to her father, is to find the powerful Trident of Poseidon. Easy, right?
It’s been six years since the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, “The Curse of the Black Pearl, was launched. Indeed, it wouldn’t be the last time that Disney would try to design a film based off famous Disney World (and Disney Land) attractions (The Country Bears Jamboree, The Haunted Mansion, The Twilight Tower of Terror, etc.). While some of these movie “spin-offs” would become successful (such as “…Black Pearl”), others would, arguably, not (ex. The Haunted Mansion film). However, in the release of “…Black Pearl” I don’t believe many people saw this film becoming part of a franchise. I certainly didn’t. This brings me to my next point.
Just because something is successful, it does not mean building onto makes it more successful. Such is the case with the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Little by little, each of the films would lose their luster. Some became slightly redundant, some became almost completely confusing, and many of them grew darker than “…Black Pearl” ever was, with themes of occultism and witchcraft making the film series that much more questionable for family and Christian viewing. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is no exception. Time did not help this film franchise (some franchises DO blossom even with years between films, such as the Terminator films or the Toy Story films, but this is often rare); if anything time weakened it, with seven years in between the last film, “On Stranger Tides” and this latest installment.
Additionally, as other reviewers have pointed out, “…No Tales” tends to rehash the same material from the previous films, in both humor and plot points. As I watched Johnny Depp’s performance as Jack, I have to wonder whether he really was having fun on screen or rather he himself had given up on the series, tired of only being remembered as “the guy who plays Jack Sparrow.” This was apparent in his characters demeanor, as he appeared more serious and certainly less humorous than the past films. I will state, however, that the performances of Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem and Kaya Scodelario, were actually stronger than that of Johnny Depp’s
I said this earlier in my review, and I’ll say it again, each “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, even starting with the first film, carries with it a dark, hopeless feel to. More often than not, actions, characters are no better off than they were in the beginning. Much like the Harry Potter films, each film in the “Pirates…” franchise became darker and darker, starting with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Arguably, “…Tell No Tales” is one of the darkest in the franchise since “…Dead Man’s Chest”. Most of this is in scenes involving Captain Salazar, as he graphically skewers people with his sword and at one point even possesses a living soul to try and kill someone. The franchise itself has also had: characters consult mediums, thematic material regarding occultism and possession.
Also, “…Tell No Tales” is, arguably, one of the series most seriously toned films (it saddens me to see the film take itself too seriously). In short, the dark tone of this film (as you will see below) is enough for most Christian parents to prevent their child from being exposed to it.
Violence: Very Heavy, as I mentioned, Captain Salazar is shown skewering people in the chest with his sword multiple, and sometimes graphic, times in the film. Several scenes involve blood. There are also scenes involving ship explosions, fist and sword fights, decapitations, a person’s neck snapping, people burning to death (we hear the victims’ screams) and torture. There is an extended, somewhat humorous, scene where a bank is lifted off its foundation, by horse drawn carriage, and is dragged across St. Martin, destroying property along the way. There is also an extended scene where zombie sharks are sent after Jack and Henry on the ocean. Ships are also ripped apart by cannon fire.
Language: “h*ll” (1), “a**-hole” (1), “bugger” (1), “p*ss-off” (1), God’s name is taken in vain once, and there is a discussion on being hung and the guillotine.
Sexual Content: Female cleavage is seen, sometimes a lot. Several couples are seen kissing. Extramarital sex is implied. Carina Smyth strips to swim ashore. In this scene, Henry Turner says: “Carina, stop that.” Jack Sparrow: “No, no, no, no, don’t stop that!” Henry: “This has gone far enough!” Jack: “No, it has not!” As she swims away in her undergarments, Henry says excitedly, “I saw her ankles.” Jack retorts, “You would've seen a lot more if you kept your cakehole shut.” In another scence, Henry says to Carina, “From this moment on we are to be allies!” Carina replies, “Considering where your left hand is, I’d say we’re more than that!”
Each of the main characters in the film are desperately seeking something: Jack seeks for freedom from his fate, Henry seeks to release his father from his curse, Carina seeks for freedom from her uncertainty. While some of these treasures are of good intention, others, however, are not.
The Bible encourages us, always, to seek after Him in whatever we say and whatever we do. Our calling is not to “store up treasures on Earth, where moths and rust corrupt it and thieves come to steal it (Matthew 6:19), but to “store up treasures in Heaven…” (Matthew 6:20). When we seek the Lord in everything that we do, when we completely give our lives to Him, making him the center and following his command, whatever we produce will bring glory and honor to Him.
“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5 (KJV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7-8 (KJV)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
Earlier this morning, I had a family tell me he was about to see “…Tell No Tales” tomorrow and asked me about what I thought about the film. Needless to say, I stumbled in my response. After a six-year absence from the limelight, I figured that “…Tell No Tales” would be a wonderful revitalization of the franchise—a film that would challenge its genre and it’s preceding films’ content in ways that had not been done before. Instead, what I got was more of the same “shtick” more of the same types of plot. A repeat of what has happened before. Also, while some of the performances and graphics in the film are truly amazing, there is still the matter of the heavy amounts of violence and some profanity and sexual content to contend with.
In closing, I do not recommend “…Tell No Tales” for Christian family viewing. Please leave the children at home, as the violence will likely make many under 13 VERY uncomfortable. Perhaps some things are best left in the past.
Violence: Very heavy / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…An occasionally overstuffed tale that drags as it heads for port… a Nantucket sleigh ride-style finale to a rollicking bank job and a village square execution-turned-donnybrook that features a tumbling guillotine. …[3/4]
—Linda Barnard, The Toronto Star
…Johnny Depp’s shtick keeps the franchise afloat… some spiky, double-entendre-laced back-and-forths… [3/5]
—Robbie Collin, The Telegraph [UK]
…dragged down by the anchor of a prescribed franchise blueprint …Mix one swaggering, slurring, Johnny Depp (heavy on the eyeliner) with 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 a supremely outlandish denouement. …
—Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
…retells an all-too-familiar story… CGI extravaganza …lacks the spark that made the original 2003 flick so beloved… [2/5]
—Jack Shepherd, Independent [UK]
…Depp should walk the plank for disastrous new ‘Pirates’… Equally wearisome is the spectacle of a once-entertaining franchise staggering around, devoid of purpose. …[1/4]
—Sara Stewart, New York Post
…It’s difficult to imagine this film inspiring happiness in anybody—not the executives who conceived the idea, not the artists and craftspeople who brought it to life, and certainly not the audiences resigned to endure it. …[1/4]
—Calum Marsh, National Post [Canada]
…Geoff Zanelli’s score is like pugil sticks for the ear: Bash, bam, you will submit. It’s a strange thing for a movie to get more quiet when cannons fire. … [2½/4]
—Mark Feeney, The Boston Globe
…stop this ride, I want to get off. … [2/4]
—Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger