Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this movie. All opinions are our own.
Pirates of the Caribbean has undoubtedly been Disney’s most popular theme-park based movie franchise. I realize that’s not saying a great deal as the competition isn’t really all that strong. 2002’s The County Bears and The Haunted Mansion in 2003 were not very well reviewed by critics or audiences. Tomorrow Land, released in 2015, was much better than the previous two, but it didn’t really build a huge following. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, on the other hand, has been popular enough to now have five films. While it’s undergone a number of changes with the casting over the years, it has garnered a large band of loyal followers.
Johnny Depp reprises his role as the nearly always drunk Captain Jack Sparrow and is back doing what he has done for the previous four films — he has had lots of practice at this after all. His performance as the zany pirate is good and he pulls off the physical comedy, which you could say runs into absurdity at times, as well as he ever has. While Jack Sparrow is definitely the biggest star of this franchise, I think the movie made a step in the right direction with a couple of new characters.
We’re introduced to Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), who happens to be the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). He is looking for a way to break a curse that has left his dad stranded on a sunken ship. It doesn’t take long for Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) to join them. She’s an astronomer, but has been accused of being a witch, and as such is on the run. The new pair remind you much of Keira Knightly and Bloom from the aforementioned original Pirates of the Caribbean, and their appeal is something that was recently lacking in the series. This is a really big deal if Disney decides they would like to do another movie as these characters could seemingly take the lead in a movie or two if they decided to go in a different direction.
I feel like I’ve already said this…probably because I already have a couple of times now. Much of this movie is the same as earlier Pirates movies. In a good way, it really feels very similar to the original. Again, it’s nothing that will be greatly shocking or surprising, but if you liked the earlier films, you’ll likely like this story too. There’s an undead army, some great action sequences and more than a few baddies. It’s a great movie to sit back and enjoy for a couple of hours without taking it too seriously. The digital copy of the movie is available in 4K Ultra HD tomorrow (September 19, 2017), which just so happens to be Talk Like a Pirate Day. It seems like a rather fitting day for the digital copy release and would make for a great way to spend an evening with family and friends!