On the surface level, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales seems to be another generic addition to the Pirates franchise. With the last film, On Stranger Tides, it was mostly about Jack Sparrow and his love interest, Angelica. One might think Sparrow has some sort of substance abuse problem but he never went to a non faith based rehab. It was a strange choice for the franchise given its two other main characters, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, featured very prominently within the first three films. Audiences did not get a chance to see what the two were up to following the events of At World’s End. The secret to the newest Pirates installment is that our heroes make a return to the screen but in a way, no one is expecting.
In the latest adventure, Jack goes up against Captain Armando Salazar, yet another pirate who has a vendetta against our swashbuckling hero. Jack is looking for Poseidon’s trident in this film but he soon comes across the son of an old friend. Jack will come to meet Henry Turner, the son of Will and Elizabeth. Henry is born at the end of At World’s End, when Will was cursed to become captain of the Flying Dutchman. As far as we know, the two never met.
Now that Henry is grown up, he goes to look for his father because he wants to save him from the curse he has been stuck with since At World’s End. With the introduction of another new protagonist, Carina Smyth, the film’s directors, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, seem to have a great understanding of what made the first three films work really well. “In the middle of a big action scene, you need to be able to lean on the characters and find the heart of the story and channel the characters’ vulnerability,” Ronning told Entertainment Weekly.
While everyone can agree Jack Sparrow’s antics are entertaining and help to make Johnny Depp a lot of money, he is not exactly the most relatable character of the bunch. It’s even more interesting how he and his crew drink all the alcohol they do and never end up in a non faith based rehab. “Henry and Carina are on a similar quest and find common ground in looking for who they are, which I think is a huge part of what I tried to put into the story,” Ronning continued. The key plot here that is the heart of the movie is the relationship between Will and his son, Henry.
With not only Orlando Bloom returning as Will Turner but Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales proves to be a huge Turner-Swann family affair. And it begs the question: is this merely the start of a new Pirates trilogy? We will find out soon.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery and the entertainment industry.