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.
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