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Now (Finally) Bring Me That Horizon - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

By Anjida Sripongworakul

Wednesday 24 May 2017 Film

After six years’ absence, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns to the screen for the grand finale.

This time, Captain Jack, sailing on his Dying Gull, battles Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem, Skyfall), the leader of a ship full of ghost sailors who escaped from the Devil’s Triangle.

Sparrow’s only weapon against Salazar is the Trident of Poseidon, discoverable only with the help of astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario, Skins) and the Royal Navy’s sailor and (gasp!) Will Turner’s estranged son Henry (Brenton Thwaites).

The film also marks Orlando Bloom’s reappearance after 10 years to reprise his role as Will Turner. Keira Knightley, the Elizabeth Turner (nee Swann) we all know and love, has also teased her appearance.

While I was skeptical about Jerry Bruckheimer, the original Pirates producer, reviving the series again after the not-so-successful fourth sequel, the feedback from March’s Cinema Con so far has been positive. With Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley poised to return, even for cameo roles, I was curious as to how the studios would set a “soft reboot,” of the first Pirates (according to Orlando Bloom) into motion.

With Rob Marshall, the fourth Pirates director not returning, the film is helmed by the Norwegian directing duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. Depp reprises one of his most iconic and popular roles, accompanied by his long-time on screen bantering partner, Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) as the notorious Captain Barbossa. Newcomers Scodelario and Thwaites should hopefully bring more to the screen than a cliché love story between a mermaid and yet another sailor weaved into the fourth Pirates.

I was reminded of Knightley’s spunky, willful Elizabeth when reading the character description of Scodelario’s Karina. “A woman of science”, she advocates for females to be educated on equal grounds with males and states her disbelief in ghosts at the outset, echoing the exact same sentiment Elizabeth spat at Captain Barbossa in the first film. A fan of Scodelario since her stint on Skins, I eagerly look forward to her second leading actress role.

On the other hand, Thwaites’ role will be tricky to pull off. While Will Turner has so charmingly captured the audience with his naviety and kind-hearted honesty, Sam Claflin’s Philip attempted to do the same in the fourth Pirates and failed. It is up to the young actor to prove if the film would be his break-out role. There’s a moment in the trailer where, standing outside Captain Jack’s cell in his Royal Navy uniform, Henry asks if the pirate really was who he claimed to be, a question his father had asked of Sparrow in the first film, in the same situation, outside the same cell, with almost the same degree of urgency.

Like a return of an old friend, the Pirates rings in familiar tunes I used to hum along all those years ago. This May, we’ll see if Sparrow’s second comeback is worth the journey.

Pirates of the Caribbean hits theaters on May 26.


Anjida Sri

I'm a Management Science (Decision Science Stream) Master's candidate at London School of Economics and Political Science. Originally from Thailand, I'm as passionate about the science, psychology, and statistics behind decision making as I am about film and writing. I enjoy opportunities to combine my passions in reviewing, discussing, and analysing films. My major influences include the New Yorker's James Wood, classic Russian literature, and Richard Siken's poetry. I've written film reviews, celebrity profiles, and news and technology coverage for my undergraduate engineering newspaper, the University of Waterloo's Iron Warrior. I'm also a guest blogger and Student Blog Editor for LSE's Department of Management. I believe pop culture, current affairs, and critical, world-changing ideas are integral to student lifestyle, and I'm committed to representing students' reality outside the classroom to society and the world. I hope to continue investigating this theme through NUS' platform for student voices.