Jesse and Nathaniel saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. We were the only people in our social circle to do so, as far as we knew. So let’s talk about it!
So I think it’s fair to say when a movie series makes it to part five, and it’s not something like Fast & Furious where it inexplicably gets way, way better the fifth time around, a natural question becomes: Why are we still doing this? I’m not saying the movie has to answer this, necessarily, because usually the answer is some combination of “$” and “$$$” and as the person who paid money to see Underworld: Blood Wars earlier this year, I’m not one to talk about pointless fifth installments. But I think that is a sentiment you’ll see a lot even as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales makes a ton of money (some in this country; more in other countries). I’m sure lots of people will ask, semi-rhetorically, are there really any hardcore Pirates movie fans left? Were there ever that many to begin with, or did people just really hope that the sequels would be as good as Black Pearl? Which brings me to you, Nathaniel. You are easily the biggest fan of this series that I know. You were the only person I considered bringing with me to the screening last week. So what are you, a pretty big Pirates of the Caribbean fan, looking for another sequel? And did Dead Men get the job done?
You’re right! I’m the Pirates of the Caribbean fan that you know! I mean sure, everybody likes the ride and the first movie, and I do too. But I love those first three Gore Verbinski-directed (and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio-written) Pirates movies on a par with all the other stuff I’m always getting excited and going on about. I’ve even seen the fourth movie, On Stranger Tides, more than once! (It was definitely a disappointing comedown after the first three, but I still kinda like it.) So I was excited to see this new one, but your question about what I’m looking for in a sequel still gave me pause. Because I think there’s a conventional wisdom that, after the first movie, Disney has squandered a series that should have been easy to sequelize (with a notion of discrete Indiana Jones-style installments following Jack Sparrow on new adventures), first converting it into a dense fantasy trilogy and then producing a standalone Jack Sparrow caper that few seem to have liked. So I’d contend that (even aside from how hard it is to make a crowd-pleasing movie like this in the first place) it’s not as easy to create a satisfying sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean as one might think.
I may be a bit out of step with some of the prospective audience (it’s so hard to tell with this kind of thing; the movies were huge hits! but few people seem to harbor affection for the sequels, except for Verbinski partisans?), but I think the second and third films are marvelous and cannily make use of what was so enervating about The Curse of the Black Pearl. Sure there are the dazzling set-pieces and great Hans Zimmer themes and oddball characters and visual flourishes, but chief among these elements is recognizing that the first movie isn’t just about Jack Sparrow. Curse has three main characters in Sparrow, Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth, and Orlando Bloom’s Will, and the first two sequels recognize and continue this. The first main character to appear onscreen in each of the first three films is Elizabeth, and she and Will come out the most changed at the end of the trilogy. Their story comes to a lovely (and surprisingly bittersweet, for a giant general audience blockbuster) conclusion in the post-credits scene of At World’s End, and it might have made sense to leave things there. But, of course, as you mentioned, “$$$” beckons. So it then makes sense that they decided to go ahead with the Jack Sparrow adventure that the folks who considered Pirates 2 & 3 to be Too Much had said they’d have preferred. But Sparrow is actually a tricky character, not entirely suited to a solo protagonist role. I actually think On Stranger Tides (hobbled as it is by some other issues), does a decent job of using Jack in this capacity, but by the end it illustrates that he probably needs strong characters with their own stories to interact with. So, for Dead Men Tell No Tales, I guess I was hoping for some lovable new characters for Jack to bounce off of, a good villain, some good set-pieces, maybe some atmospheric new pirate lore. Did it deliver? …Sure? I mean, I enjoyed some of the set-pieces, it has some eye-popping visuals (and another great Jack Sparrow entrance), I enjoyed spending time with Jack and Barbossa, and it even evoked a little real (if borrowed) emotion in me. But I had a pretty conflicted reaction to this one, and at least some of it came directly from what it does with threads it picks up from the Verbinski trilogy (and with the character of Jack). Turns out this is basically a legacy sequel, with Will & Elizabeth’s son (last seen in the post-credits scene of At World’s End) looking for Jack Sparrow to help him find a way to break his father’s curse. That’s a story hook I think I can get on board with, but I’m very mixed on the execution. And I feel the same way about Jack’s conflict with Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar, a terrifying figure from his past.
How do you think this one stacks up against On Stranger Tides? (I’ve seen some “best Pirates since the first one” chatter, but even though you’re not as gung-ho for Chest & World’s End as I am, I feel like we can dispense with that, right?) Right now I feel like they’re roughly equal, but it’s a lot easier for me to identify my problems with Dead Men Tell No Tales. I’ve got nits to pick (both large and small!) in this movie, but before I get too into the weeds here, what did you, as a somewhat less invested viewer, think?
As I was watching it and immediately after, I would have said Dead Men Tell No Tales was superior to On Stranger Tides, and maybe only inferior to the Verbinski sequels so far as it’s less fresh, and the directors don’t have quite the same off-kilter eye for the composition and orchestration of elaborate set pieces as Verbinski. Of course, those are a big part of these movies, so it’s a hell of an “only” — so really just a way of saying that I can’t call this Pirates sequel a massive comedown from some other sequels that have parts I love but are far more in love with their own plot mechanics than I am. But as I thought about it, it became harder to distinguish why, exactly, I’d call Tales better than Tides. Do I hate Rob Marshall that much? Because I can barely remember Tides, except there was a cool part with some fearsome mermaids, and Penelope Cruz was there. This one has its moments, as you allude, but as the days wear on, I’m less convinced that I really enjoyed it all that much more than its predecessor. I think I did, but if I can’t say for sure, then does it even matter?
I was one of those who was happy with the idea of moving away from the convolutions of the original Pirates trilogy, so I struggle to figure out why neither Tides nor Tales completely does it for me as far as an Indiana Jones-ification of Jack Sparrow goes. I think you’re right that Sparrow needs stronger characters to bounce off of (and I think that ties into some of my dissatisfaction with the earlier sequels; at times, both of them felt like they were getting Will and Elizabeth to engage in just as much double-and-triple-crossing as Jack, which made it hard for me to find my footing, or care enough to find my footing). But I didn’t dislike Brenton Thwaites, even though he qualifies for the dubious distinction of “less interesting than Orlando Bloom,” or Kaya Scodelario, even nearly every characteristic or detail about her character feels like awkward tokenism. I certainly enjoyed Javier Bardem’s refugee from a watery grave, and I’m always pleased to see Geoffrey Rush, who clearly has the best Pirate Voice of anyone in this series.
But none of the characters really do wind up bouncing off of Sparrow, an immobility the movie literalizes by tying several of them up, several times! It doesn’t hurt that Sparrow’s quips and asides are particularly clunky this time around, and that the attempts to tie the series to its predecessors — the legacy stuff you refer to — work better in theory that in practice. I came across this elaborate querying of the series continuity, and while some of it is very much nitpicking (and a lot of it went unnoticed by me in the moment), it does raise some good points about the way this movie wants desperately to tie back into the original trilogy while not really stopping to think very much about what parameters might be involved in doing that. I’m far from a continuity stickler, but I do think this is indicative of the movie’s weird half-breed thing, where it sort of wants to indulge in heavy continuity but seems faintly aware of how many fans reacted to the Too Much-ness of the original films. (And honestly, I even felt that way about the very enjoyable 2003 original when I first saw it: That it runs at least one too many times around the track, at it were.) That’s what I’m getting at when I ask what Pirates fans want out of this thing, because I’m not sure the movie knows, either. I sympathize a little; it must be frustrating to have a lot of people complain about your muchness (and have the U.S. box office drop off pretty hard from second to third installment, Matrix-style) and then try to correct for it with a standalone that people also complain about.
Then again, that frustration with negative reactions doesn’t make parts four or five into particularly good adventures. As much as I liked the holdovers from the Verbinski years — cool ghost designs, big slapstick action sequences, a general opulence akin to the pirate-king lair that Barbossa lives in — I wonder if new directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg might have been better-served by doing less of a Verbinski imitation. And, in doing so, maybe by actually making Sparrow a side character who keeps getting tossed into the action, rather than a constant focus of that action. The movie has the right instinct in holding Sparrow back for a little while (the pre-credit sequence is unusually long, like a contemporary cable drama) and giving him that great “meanwhile…” entrance you mention. But when he enters the picture, he sidelines everyone else a bit.
So if this is indeed a legacy sequel, how did it fare with characters you probably care about way more than I do?
Mixed results! To your question of what Pirates fans want, I know there’s a subgroup of fans that have really wanted some other resolution to Will and Elizabeth’s storyline. As far as I can tell, this stems in part out of regular old audience frustration at not getting a thoroughly happy ending (particularly since the third film separates them after they already had a swooningly romantic ending in the original film), and in part because of Fan Stuff. Basically, Elliott and Rossio have spoken publicly about a particular deleted scene (or even just scattered lines of deleted dialogue) that would have changed the mechanics of the curse/obligation that Will is left under at the end of the third film. Their original conception was that if the captain of the Flying Dutchman did his job for ten years and his beloved stayed true to him, he would be freed from servitude. All references to this method of breaking the curse were cut from the film, leaving Will and Elizabeth in a kind of bittersweet relationship purgatory, getting to spend one day together every ten years. When fans got wind of this happy ending that had been cruelly denied them (by someone higher up the chain than the screenwriters), some of them just insisted it was still true (despite a lack of any evidence to that effect in the films) and some began longing for a return to those characters so we could see that curse lifted and the two lovers reunited. And, in a way, the ending of this one feels almost like a mulligan for all of the sequels, restoring everything to the status quo at the end of Curse of the Black Pearl (SPOILERSJack gets the Pearl back, Barbossa is dead again, and Will & Elizabeth get their happily ever afterSPOILERS). So, for that particular subset of fans, Dead Men Tell No Tales may actually be exactly what they’re looking for. But I’m not among them! I love the end of At World’s End, and I’ve never felt like there was some unfinished business that needed to be taken care of (the touch of melancholy in that ending made it feel more authentically like an old sea yarn to me).
That said, I admit that I was a bit drawn in by the story of a son trying to bring his father home, and I was pleased to see SPOILERS, MAYBE, THOUGH I THINK DISNEY HAS WEIRDLY PUT THEM IN SOME OF THE ADS Bloom and Knightley show up. Sure, it’s more perfunctory than I’d like if you’re going to get them back on board (in particular, I love Elizabeth Turner, nee Swann, and her story is so interesting in the trilogy that I’d like a little more of what she’s been up to the last twenty years when we see her again), but they definitely elicited the swell of emotion in me that they were going for when we get to see those characters embrace again (aided immeasurably, in this case, by the way Geoff Zanelli’s score quotes some of Zimmer’s beautiful themes from At World’s End in any scenes involving either of them). But it didn’t land as hard for me as I’d expect, based on how much I love those first three films, and I wonder if it’s because it feels like they went to the legacy sequel well weirdly early? Like, would seeing those actors another ten years on from now, in this same story, have hit me the way I’d want it to? Or it could just be because of the frenetic pace and the dashed off writing in this installment. Because, while I know we won’t agree fully on the merits of Elliott & Rossio’s scripts for those first three movies, it seems like the majority of my problems with Tales come down to Jeff Nathanson’s script (or perhaps some heavy editing to get it down to this short-for-a-Pirates-movie runtime).
Turns out there’s a surprisingly delicate mix to getting Pirates story that ticks all the boxes for me and, while this one takes a shot at a bunch of elements, it fell down on some important ones. For example, I found Thwaites and Scodelario to be plenty appealing for this kind of thing, and there are hints of characters I could really get engaged with in their broad strokes, but the pace was so breathless, and the balancing of the two of them with Jack and Barbossa and Salazar inartful enough (you mentioned characters getting tied up, a staple of these movies, but it made the storytelling feel more static in this one for some reason), that I more liked the idea of them (and the actors’ winsomeness) than the actual characters. And another Pirates trope I really love is exposition as ghost story. This typically involves giving characters like Barbossa or Kevin McNally’s Gibbs or Naomie Harris’s Tia Dalma a speech full of colorful language and spooky innuendo to explain the various curses, creatures, and mystical objects we’re going to encounter in the story. These scenes tie the supernatural goings-on to actual folklore (or convincingly credible approximations of it) and ground them for the characters and for us. This movie introduces a bunch of new stuff (like the Devil’s Triangle, Trident of Poseidon, and a crew full of cursed ghost pirates) and wrinkles on old stuff (like the business with Jack’s compass or Will’s newly fishy appearance), and none of it gets a fun explanatory story. They’ve even got Gibbs right there, but without giving him exposition or playing much of his friendship with Jack, he’s basically reduced to Pirate #2. I know that keeping all this stuff in is part of what leads to these things have running times that some audiences find bloated, but they also lend the movies wonderful texture, and without them this movie has it visually, but not in the storytelling.
Also sadly lacking texture (at least for me) in Tales? Jack Sparrow. This is another thing that feels like an issue with the change of writers (and probably some of Depp’s instincts going unchecked), but Jack feels off in this movie. There are ideas I like in his portrayal here (some that have resonance with the legacy sequel of it all), like finding Jack at a particular low ebb. After his delightful entrance, he spends the first half of the movie or so particularly drunk and dissolute, and his story is theoretically about him shaking off his long run of bad luck and getting back on top of his piracy game. Sounds good! But even in the latter half of the film, after he’s got the Pearl back and shaken off some of the higher-pitched slurring in Depp’s vocal delivery, he still feels like a flattened out version of the character, with far fewer notes of sneaky competence and surprising mettle. I imagine it’s very easy to accidentally make him more of just a comic relief character or figure of fun than the more slippery trickster role he originally filled, but at times it kind of felt like we’d traded Bugs Bunny for a sleazy Goofy. (Goofy’s still fun to watch, don’t get me wrong, but he doesn’t work the same way with a bunch of Elmer Fudds and Yosemite Sams. If this metaphor even makes sense any more.) And the flashback scene during that story Salazar tells (this is a pretty good Pirates exposition-as-ghost-story, with cool delivery by Bardem, except it stops before actually giving us some folklore to hang the ghost stuff on!) also goes the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade route of suggesting that Jack got everything iconic that makes him Jack Sparrow (his ship, his hat, some of his trinkets, his compass, and even his last name!) in one action-packed afternoon. Kind of fun, but also sacrificing some of the mystery and expansiveness of the character without adding any real resonance to his conflict with Salazar. AND it needlessly introduces some of the continuity problems that article you linked to mentioned. As a Pirates fan, some of that stuff really did stick in my craw.
For example, the business with Jack’s compass threw me out of the movie. Dead Man’s Chest does indeed establish that he bartered for the compass with Tia Dalma, but here we see that he was given it by the captain that also gave him his ship as a young man. Not a huge deal, maybe, but a weird detail to needless get wrong and one that will only irritate fans (like, I imagine fans will be vexed if next year’s Han Solo movie has him get the Millennium Falcon not from Lando, but from some other dude we’ve never heard of). And the introduction of this notion that if you “betray” the compass it will unleash your greatest fear not only doesn’t track with what we’ve seen in the previous movies (where Jack hands over or loses the compass many times) but also left me wondering how it identified Salazar and his crew as Jack’s greatest fear. At a moment where I was genuinely invested. seeing Jack drunkenly, blithely trading away probably his most valuable remaining possession for a drink, I then immediately was tossed into a thicket of continuity errors and trying to figure out the mechanics of magic we’d never heard about before. Why does the Devil’s Triangle crumble? Why does it only seem to trap Salazar & his men, even though we see other ships go in? How does everybody know about the Trident and why is everybody interested in getting it at the same time? Why are Will and the Flying Dutchman getting crusty and barnacled? How does ship’s figurehead come to life in that last sea battle? And what on earth are we to make of that post-credit sequel tease?
I think those last two questions point to the pleasures and frustrations to be found in this movie for a Pirates fan. The figurehead springing to life and joining Salazar in trying to kill Jack was somewhat inexplicable (basically all of the supernatural folklore mumbo jumbo, usually something I revel in in these movies, felt like kind of a wash this time around), but it also was pretty cool. A huge part of the appeal of this series is getting to basically see a massive-budget take on classic Ray Harryhausen imagery. The first film has swashbuckling skeletons, the second and third have the kraken, Davy Jones and his fishy crew, the giant goddess Calypso, and a rad maelstrom. The fourth had that mermaid sequence. And this one has Salazar and his ghostly crew and a giant wooden masthead on a rampage, and they were both rad. There’s obviously room to continue to explore that kind of stuff if they want to pursue further sequels, but the post-credit scene suggests there may not be a clear vision of how to do that. The movie ends with SPOILERS AGAIN, OBVIOUSLY the destruction of the Trident of Poseidon and, with it, all curses at sea. Will is allowed to return to land to be with his family, the ghost pirates are returned to life (and summarily killed off again), and all would seem to be settled. In fact, with all curses disposed of, we’d be excused for thinking that’s it for the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Sure, you could create plenty of stories about other sea creatures and new heroes and villains, but this movie’s ending literalizes some of the themes of Verbinski’s films: magic is leaving the seas. What, then, are we to make of the sequel tease after the credits where SPOILING THE POST-CREDIT SCENE! Will has a dream (or is it?) of Davy Jones menacing him and Elizabeth with his crab claw arm while they sleep. First, there’s the obvious questions raised (not in a delicious “wonder what happens next” manner, but a “wait, how’s that supposed to work” way) of how Davy Jones would be alive (we saw him die!) or why he’d still be all squid-y and crustacean-y (all curses are broken! Will lost his barnacles!), but there’s also the question of, “what’s exciting about Davy Jones back for revenge?” Don’t get me wrong, I love Davy Jones. He’s an excellent villain, full of both pathos and menace, he’s got a fantastic design, and Bill Nighy’s performance is spectacular. But he also already had a good story with an excellent conclusion. So it’s not immediately apparent what I’ve got to be excited by in bringing him back. What did you make of it as a less invested Pirates-goer? What would you like to see (if anything) in a sixth installment? And neither of us has talked much about series MVP Geoffrey Rush and Captain Hector Barbossa. I agree that he’s terrific fun as the most stereotypically piratey of the movies’ pirates, and I loved where we find him at the beginning of this one. But this movie tries to give him a story with some emotional resonance. What’d you think of that?
I mainly was wishing the movie didn’t call its shot from so far off. Scodelario’s character is so clearly established with unnamed/mystery parentage that will so clearly turn out to be either Jack or Barbossa (in parallel to her co-star’s next-gen status) that it becomes one of those twists you wait forever to actually come out and then even longer to become public knowledge in the world of the movie. And ultimately all it means is: The characters in this movie are related by blood to the characters from the other movies! Honestly, I think the relationship between the son of Will and Elizabeth and the daughter of Captain Barbossa would be more interesting if the son and daughter actually knew about this stuff, rather than using it as a flimsy non-surprise.
In fact, as excited as I’ve gotten when I found out that these later sequels will still be using Barbossa, I don’t know that they ever have a great handle on what to do with Rush. He doesn’t really get enough screentime here to make an impact either as a delightful supporting character or as the secret emotional linchpin of the movie. I could see how the latter COULD work — I really like the idea of Barbossa with a thoroughly civilized, science-loving daughter, actually — but it’s one more idea here that doesn’t really get its due in the busy execution. In this case, that may be because, as you allude, a lot of plot points are touched upon without really sinking in, though I’m not convinced there’s no way for a Pirates movie to work in under 140 minutes — not least because this one is just a little over two hours but feels at least as exhausting as the others.
Jack going from “Bugs Bunny to sleazy Goofy” is a great way to put it. And boy, this was not the best time to watch Depp in a lesser version of this character. I try not to pay too much attention to what’s going with actors offscreen, but I can’t deny that it’s kind of dispiriting watch Depp work his way through wan quips and lecherous remarks at this particular stage in his career. I’m usually a big fan of Depp following his muse — as you know, I have this whole thing about the ratio of good to bad movies he’s been in hasn’t changed appreciably since Pirates brought him mega-fame — but I didn’t get much of a kick out of his antics here. When I did, it had more to do with inventive staging (like that guillotine bit) than his performance. Between this and that Alice sequel last year, I’m beginning to think that maybe years-later sequels to massive Disney hits starring Johnny Depp aren’t really the company’s forte.
And as we discussed after watching Pirates 5, movies like this and Alice Through the Looking Glass have been slotted into Disney’s new all-hits-all-the-time schedule in a way that makes sense on paper (as previous installments were both billion-dollar movies that helped Disney get to this new plateau in the first place) but also, as you mention with your legacy analysis, feel like remnants from a slightly different time in the company’s history. I happen to like Tim Burton’s Alice more than any of the fairy-tale redos the company has made since — and ditto for the first three (maybe even four! Maybe even all five!) Pirates movies, for that matter. But ultimately — and I’m really just arriving at this feeling now — the mild satisfaction chased with mild disappointment that Dead Men Tell No Tales left me with actually reminds me a little of the CG Catalog Remake version of Pirates, in the sense that it’s a lavish and eye-filling production that I didn’t have a bad time watching, but never achieved escape velocity from its own heritage. I sort of appreciated the nods to Pirates history, just as I enjoyed some of the theme-park recreations of the sorta-live-action Beauty and the Beast earlier this year. But neither movie is quite entertaining enough that I felt like the “why?” had been sufficiently answered, even with something as simple as “because it’s a lot of fun.” I think in a weird way, the new Pirates movie, like these (very financially successful) remakes, sort of struggles with what it is to be a Disney movie that’s not covered by one of their high-end in-house studios like Disney Feature Animation, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, all of which have had some major creative peaks since we last saw a Pirates movie (seriously, the last time Depp was Sparrow, Frozen hadn’t come out yet and Star Wars was still dormant!). But it feels ironic for this series in particular, because the first Pirates was a pretty strong (and largely unduplicated) version of what a non-animated, non-purchased-from-elsewhere Disney spectacle might look like.
I know you like those Disney remakes a lot more than I do, so I don’t imagine you had exactly parallel feelings. But this kind of feel like ersatz Pirates, does it not?
I started this off, so I think you should have the final word! Are you hoping for more Pirates movies? Expecting them? Has your Depp patience, which I know is similar to mine, been finally, similarly tested?
I do like those remakes more than you do, but I can see that comparison for sure. My own internal comparison (which I’m not sure will make sense to somebody other than me) was that these last two Pirates movies were the Davy Crockett and the River Pirates to the first three movies’ original Davy Crockett miniseries. That is to say, they’re not unenjoyable, but pretty inessential after the originals told what amounts to a complete story. All these Disney comparisons are pretty natural, of course, because the Pirates series is so steeped in the Disney thing. A bunch of their iconography comes from the parks (and the attractions have, in turn, incorporated stuff from the movies), and they represent a high water mark for the studio’s live-action efforts before the influx you mention of Marvel, Lucasfilm, and the Disney catalog remakes that make up the bulk of their schedule nowadays. And in theory, I’d love to see them doing more of that kind of stuff still. Not only would I love it if they took another crack at The Haunted Mansion, but I’d be pretty into checking out originals that fit into one of the old Disneyland (both show and theme park) categories of Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland (they can kinda sorta approximate this with their current approach, but it’s not exactly the same thing). And the Pirates series, when it’s cooking, basically does the same audience-pleasing stuff folks look to Star Wars and Marvel for: that balance of laughs, thrills, and characters they love. But while those sub-studios seem pretty adept at pulling off that balance (and Disney proper has the leg up of using characters and stories for their remakes that audiences already know they love), I think I’m also a much bigger fan of many of their other attempts at that kind of thing in the last decade than most folks (again, it’s hard to tell, what with the curdled hindsight the internet lends these things). I’d be super into more movies like Tron: Legacy, John Carter, Oz the Great and Powerful, Tomorrowland, and The Lone Ranger, but I understand why that list would spook a studio.
But here we are and even Pirates of the Caribbean may be running out of steam. I mean, it’s not like they’ve gotten good reviews since the first entry, and this one will still pull in a pretty penny, but the series is clearly coming back down to earth after the success it once enjoyed. On the one hand, if we’re truly into an ever-diminishing returns situation here, I’d be okay leaving it here. But of course I’d also like to see them go out on a stronger note. Not only does this one conclude with that wan sequel tease, but even Jack’s last moment, something they’ve nailed every other time, is just a creakier riff on his last moment in the first film (instead of saying “bring me that horizon,” he says “let’s go beyond my beloved horizon” or something like that; cute, I guess, but not stirring like the others). So unless they come up with a story and characters strong enough to truly revitalize this thing (tall order, I think), I guess what I’d personally be interested in for a sixth Pirates would be the final voyage of Jack Sparrow. I’m not even sure what kind of finality I’m interested in (I very much doubt Disney wants to make the movie where Sparrow dies, and I don’t even know for sure that I’d like to see it), but based on this one I think if they’re going to bring him back that it may be time for the world to catch up with him. Old Man Jack. Give Depp a little more structure to push against, and I think he could still find something to do with the character.
And who am I kidding? They make another one, I’m definitely going to see it. It may eventually just be an experiment in how long I can coast on my deep love for the first three movies, but to be honest I know it’s a Pirates life for me. Yo ho.