Gore Verbinski’s original PoC movie, 2003’s The Curse of the Black Pearl, delighted even us cynics ready to dismiss any movie based on a Disneyland ride.
It did so because (1) Johnny Depp’s gonzo Cap’n Jack Sparrow was so entertaining, and (2) it was not what we expected. What we expected was something like this calculated, incomprehensible floating garbage patch of a cash grab.
Even back then, things were fun when Depp was on screen and Bruckheimer drivel when he wasn’t. Alas, Depp’s magical ability to prevent the franchise from sinking to new depths of vacuity has apparently been lost at sea.
Don’t expect to find any new treasures among the regurgitated tropes, dredged-up villains, and fake emotion (a father-child motif). Exhausting, boated and frenetically dull.
Faint bright spots: Javier Bardem does a thoroughly nasty villain, and Kaya Scodelario is highly watchable as the requisite spunky heroine. Please, no more tales. Methinks it’s time to deep-six this franchise. (129 min)