starring Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Geoffrey Rush
screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg
by Walter Chaw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (hereafter Pirates 5) is stultifyingly boring, which is interesting because lots of stuff happens in it, constantly. It's guilty of a kind of antic, Brownian motion that suggests all of the repugnance inspired by a bivouac of army ants and none of the creepy sense of underlying order. It's like watching stirred tea: brown and insensible. Just like. Consider the first major set-piece, in which our jolly Roger, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, starting to look like those leather bags you find at Himalayan shops), conspires with his truncated crew to steal a giant iron safe and ends up stealing the entire bank. The entire bank, savvy? Compare it against the brilliance of the train sequence in 2013's The Lone Ranger to appreciate exactly how underestimated that film was, and exactly how estimated this one is. There's a team of horses, a little person, a building being dragged through an island town, shit flying everywhere, and Capt. Jack doing Buster Keaton if Buster Keaton weren't an artist and were, instead, an aging actor most of the audience is beginning to suspect is playing himself now. Later, there's a cameo by Paul McCartney and, you know, same, same. The posture is rock 'n' roll when really it's one of those "Top of the Charts" cover compilations gamely put together by the house band. It sucks. If it makes you feel cheated, well, you were.