8 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’

Pirates of the Caribbean
Image courtesy Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is the fifth movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

What is it about?

If you watch a Pirates of the Carribean movie for the plot, you’ve obviously never seen the first four. In Dead Men Tell No Tales, a new heroine and a new hero are introduced, both with daddy issues. Through a zany set of coincidences, they all end up hunting for a new mysterious magical treasure along with Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa, the British, and a crew of cursed undead villains. Jack Sparrow, meanwhile, is still a captain without a proper, full-size ship. Why does that all sound familiar? Oh right. Because it’s pretty much the plot of all the movies.

Who is the new hero?

Our hero, Henry Turner, introduces himself by climbing aboard the Flying Dutchman as a young boy to find his father, Will Turner, and insist that he’ll find this movie’s mysterious object in order to break the Flying Dutchman‘s curse.

Who is the new heroine?

Our heroine, Carina Smyth, introduces herself by insisting that she’s not a witch but a woman of science. Repeatedly. The running gag was used so often that I began to wonder if she had any other lines. She’s out to find the same mysterious object as Henry because she’s a woman of science and finding an object that breaks sea curses makes total sense from a science perspective. Also, she wants to make the father she’s never known proud.

What about all those horrible things I heard about Johny Depp?

Johny Depp is in the middle of a legal fight with his ex-managers, and it’s grown nasty. Now, if you read the gossip surrounding the filming of the movie, there were rumors Johny Depp was partying all night and holding up production by oversleeping. His ex-managers are also claiming that he hired someone to radio his lines to him through an earpiece so that he wouldn’t have to memorize anything. After watching the movie, I wonder how much of that was Jared Leto style “method acting.” Jack Sparrow is introduced as sleeping on the job, drunk, and losing all his money. All they needed was a magical pirate earring to feed him lines, and then you’d know we were all just being punked.

Is this movie fun?

As much as this is the fifth installment of a franchise that probably should have stopped at three, this movie was still a lot of fun if thin on plot and character development. If you do see it in the theater, the IMAX version is amazing. The action sequences are fun and well-choreographed. There’s a great sequence around Sparrow and a guillotine that will have you in stitches.

Are there surprise cameos?

Yes. Don’t IMDB the cast. It’s really more fun to be surprised. For starters, we find out that pretty much everyone in Sparrow’s family is a real rock star. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention young Jack Sparrow has a cameo of sorts. Through the magic of CGI, we have a few flashbacks of a certain fresh-faced captain-to-be.

Is it OK for families and young children?

The undead villains in this episode, Captian Salazar’s crew, are particularly gruesome and violent. Their ship eats other ships. Their crew still boards other vessels to do some extra murdering. When on land, they still float around as if underwater. Most of the crew are missing large chunks of their undead bodies. Partial heads, oozing black goo, guts, burnt and dismembered limbs. There are even zombie attack animals. It’s some amazing visual effects, for sure, but I wouldn’t watch it with kids prone to nightmares or younger than middle school.

Should I stay for all the credits?

Yes. Stay past all the credits. There’s a post-credit scene at the end.