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YMMV / Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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  • Arc Fatigue: There is a general consensus between critics and fans, detractors and defenders that the film just tried to run too many plot lines at the same time. To illustrate it, the film obviously attempts to a) bring back old characters, b) introduce new characters, and c) revise the background of current characters, and d) show the connection between old and new characters, all of it at once, in 129 minutes and with an inevitably convoluted overarching plot. Some have said there was enough material in this film to do at least two films back to back instead of only one.
  • Awesome Music: This is a Pirates movie, so this is practically a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Henry and Carina are this almost automatically. Are they a chance to do interesting new sidekicks to Jack, or just yet another lame carbon copy of Will and Elizabeth, just like Phillip and Syrena from the previous film?
  • Broken Base:
    • Yet another ghost ship in play. Either this is revisiting the franchise's original roots, or an unnecessary rehash of something that's been done several times before.
    • Will Turner making his comeback after being absent from the previous installment. Either this is an old face fans are happy to see again, or something that didn't need to happen, since Will and Elizabeth's story ended in the third installment (and their importance as characters to the overall story largely ended in the first). Not helping matters is that their subplot became something of a Romantic Plot Tumor, which is said to have influenced the Creator Backlash dispositions their actors once had.
    • The film's very existence is this. Some are happy to see the franchise coming back, while others view it and On Stranger Tides as signs of becoming a Franchise Zombie since the first trilogy is generally where things could, and should, have concluded. Although the latter group may have been placated with the newest trailer explicitly billing the film as "The Final Adventure".
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    • The implication at The Stinger that Davy Jones will return to the franchise. Some liked it, while others think they should leave the character alone.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Jack being roped into a forced marriage. It comes out of absolutely nowhere, is only there for the sake of silliness and completely halts the plot; and of course afterwards it is never mentioned or brought up again. Its only purpose was to have Jack be in one place long enough for Barbossa to catch up to him and to give Carina some new clothes.
    • The figurehead of The Silent Mary coming to life. Nowhere before this is it explained that this is even an option, its only purpose is to give Jack a second opponent while leap-frogging between ships (as this occurs with Jack already mid-fight against Salazar), is dispatched within a handful of minutes, and is never spoken of again.
  • Contested Sequel: With a 29% in Rotten Tomatoes, it's the weakest entry in the franchise yet as far as professional critics go. However, the fandom is divided about whether the film is an improvement from On Stranger Tides or certainly an even worse product.
  • Creepy Awesome: Salazar is a ghost pirate whose hair and clothes still float like they're underwater and who commands a ship which can bite other ships, bonus points for being played by Javier Bardem. Even the people who didn't like the film or the usage of the character in the plot usually acknowledge how cool he was.
  • Critic-Proof: Zig-zagged. Domestically, the film had the lowest box office totals of the whole franchise, and critics tearing it to shreds likely contributed to this. But overseas, it did boffo business regardless of the critical reception.
  • Fanfic Fuel: A line in this film reveals that the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides took place five years previously, which means (given a rough approximation of Henry's age) that about twenty years passed between the ending of At World's End (not counting The Stinger) and On Stranger Tides. Given how obsessed Jack was with getting the Black Pearl back, what the hell were he and Gibbs doing during this timespan?
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The movie underperformed domestically (grossed $172 million, with a $230 million budget), but did pretty strong business overseas (about $618 million).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In one of the bloopers, Johnny Depp in his Captain Jack Sparrow persona jokingly said that he won't make it to Pirates of the Caribbean 6. True enough... he really could not make it at all.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Barbossa is seen as this due to his "death scene" being shockingly open. He wasn't injured and was standing at relatively little depth when was engulfed by the water, meaning it was entirely plausible for him, an experienced sailor, to survive the flood without being crushed to death or drowning. This impression is not limited to post-movie thoughts, as many fans stuck around in the theater for The Stinger just to see if Barbossa would turn up alright on it. After all, the man has literally cheated death before.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Javier Bardem's real life wife, Penélope Cruz, played Jack's love interest Angelica in the previous film, so one can see this film as Bardem enacting revenge on Johnny Depp for coming onto his wife.
    • A chapter in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves is titled "Dead Men Tell No Tales". It is also the fifth chapter of the game and features pirates, as well as a non-pirate seeking a treasure for family-related reasons, like this film.
    • Jack being tied up by Barbossa on the Black Pearl already happened in Kingdom Hearts II, twelve years before the film's release, albeit for different reasons, since Barbossa suffers Adaptational Villainy in that franchise even by the first film's standards.
    • One sketch from Robot Chicken has a husband act out his wife's roleplay fantasy as Jack Sparrow, pointing out how he "hadn't had a good wash in years". This movie, Jack himself states outright that he hasn't washed himself properly in years.
    • The fact that Javier Bardem was also selected to star in the role of a fantasy pirate antagonist of another film in the past.
    • Apparently Christoph Waltz was originally selected for the role of the Big Bad, who would be named Brand, before he ultimately declined. They ultimately went with Javier Bardem, who played the Bond villain right before Waltz did note .
  • Just Here for Godzilla: With the revelation that Will was to return getting his fans back on board, a Japanese trailer that also showcased Elizabeth's comeback made her fanbase admit it was the only reason they'd see it.
    tumblr fan: I am 500% done with this series, there is no way you're getting me back for Pirates 5—
    Disney: We brought back Elizabeth.
    tumblr fan: Drink up me hearties yo ho.
  • Ho Yay: Lesaro/Salazar took off like a rocket, as did Salazar/Jack, Salazar/Henry and Jack/Henry - especially after Javier Bardem started dropping hints that Salazar was originally written as gay or bisexual.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: A meta example. While the movie was billed as "the final adventure begins," few fans actually believe the series will end with this installment, especially considering Davy Jones' return in a post-credits scene, which is quite the Sequel Hook. This is all unless you took the tagline literally, of course.
  • Narm:
    • Salazar's surname is a slight case of Spexico, as it is actually not very common in continental Spain compared to Hispanic America, but it can be begrudgingly forgiven because it is a plausible Spanish surname after all. However, him being nicknamed "El Matador del Mar" is a reason for audiences of any nationality to facepalm, precisely because the previous film in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, had accomplished the not small feat of including Spanish characters without dipping into Toros y Flamenco.
    • During the final battle, Salazar triumphantly exclaims, "This is where your story ends!" while lunging at Jack. The only problem is that Salazar mouth's is blatantly not moving as he says this.
    • The flashback scene takes the step of not only explaining where Jack got his compass and his ship, but also his last name, his hat, and every odd bauble that he carries around in his dreadlocks. It may remind some viewers of similar attempts to explain entire character backgrounds in Solo and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Thhe above-mentioned flashback scene is executed well-enough that it may work for the viewer, regardless.
    • The final scene in the movie looks like it was filmed in front of a very obvious greenscreen, but the score and the actors' performances are able to sell it effectively.
  • Older Than They Think: Barbossa having a daughter as originally envisioned for the second film, but the plot of Dead Man's Chest was chosen instead. The original, however, was much older and a love interest of Jack's rather than of Will and Elizabeth's kid.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Paul McCartney as Uncle Jack.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: This is the first POTC film not scripted by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio (though Terry did help work on the story), which could explain the film's continuity errors.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Johnny Depp's troubles did cause the film quite a bit of trouble in the news media, but by far the most infamous before Depp's divorce was his fight with Australian deputy primer minister Barnaby Joyce, who threatened to jail Depp for bringing his dogs into Australia (even though they turned out to be Amber Heard's), which caused a large amount of speculation and ridicule by the fanbase.
  • Retroactive Recognition: One of the new pirates (Cremble) is played by Adam Brown, best known for his portrayal of Ori in The Hobbit, while Scarfield's actor David Wenham played Faramir in The Lord of the Rings.
  • Ship Sinking: Since the ending to At World's End and the fact that the main character is Will and Elizabeth's son didn't seem to hammer the fact that Elizabeth doesn't care for Jack in enough, the scene where Henry tells Jack his mother doesn't care about him obliterates Sparrabeth's chances for good. Not that it will stop the shippers from trying to read in to it in their favor.
  • Squick:
    • The Pearl crew, needing something sharp to pick a lock, forcibly (and painfully) remove Scrum's crooked toenail.
    • Pig Kelly's sister.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The leitmotif of the Silent Mary sounds like Exiled One from Mega Man Zero 3.
  • They Changed It, So It Sucks: Many fans from outside of the US were disappointed when it was revealed that the title for the film in their countries would be Salazar's Revenge, feeling this title to be too generic and much preferring the original title, Dead Men Tell No Tales.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Shansa, the new sea witch, is given very little focus or backstory as a character, and basically disappears after informing Scarfield that Salazar is after the good guys. She has a bit more of a backstory in the mobile game Tides of War, where she stole Jack's memories, but that's about it.
    • Scarfield, a member of the Royal Navy who is set up as an early antagonist, having a personal vendetta against both Henry and Carina, and his desires to wipe out all the Pirates at sea mirrors Salazar's. Sounds like perfect fuel for Villain Team-Up right? Nope, Salazar kills Scarfield and his men with absolutely no fanfare, and he's not mentioned again.
    • Henry. He is set up as someone who knows every myth and legend. His first appearance has him figuring out how to find the Dutchman and in his second he instantly can identify the Devil's Triangle. After that? Nothing. It is all Carina who leads the mission to find the trident. Where Henry could have been set up to explain the weaknesses and strengths of ghost, the legends of the trident, or use ancient myths to help in the quest he instead is there to act as moral support for Carina.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: One of the main claims to the film is the accusation that it is in fact a rather bad reboot, which tries to use original finds of the first film, simply adding a new villain and replacing Will and Elizabeth with their children.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Flying Dutchman receives very little focus, and we don't even see if Will Turner gained any new crewmates over the years he spent as captain. It would also have been interesting for the Dutchman to face the Silent Mary at some point, if only to demonstrate the new antagonists' badassery.
      • The film had the opportunity for a four-way duel between the supernatural Dutchman, Silent Mary, Queen Anne's Revenge, and the Black Pearl, considering all four ships appear in the movie. In fact, the Queen Anne's Revenge shows none of its supernatural powers or its flamethrowers that were showcased in On Stranger Tides.
      • Also on that note: the 3rd movie made it a plot point that Will became the captain of the Dutchman, but the start of this movie shows that Will is implied to be just yet another member of its crew, slowly succumbing to the corruption that covers and slowly transforms them all into various sealife.
    • Early in the film, Jack is down on his luck and abandoned by his crew (even Gibbs) and loses almost everything in his life, even his treasured compass, which sets the plot in motion. This would be the perfect opportunity for Jack's character development. Instead, the whole thing is wrapped up in the first act when his crew come back to him anyway and Jack doesn't really learn anything about being a better captain by the film's end.
      • Oddly, there are hints of a more substantial arc for Jack. He echoes several lines from his first battle with Salazar throughout the movie, implying that he's been reacting to his recent string of failures by trying to relive his glory days, which he resolves by defeating Salazar again.
    • Bootstrap Bill, Henry's grandfather and Will's reason for staying on the Dutchman, is nowhere to be seen. The novelization strongly implies that he left the crew at some point, but nothing more is known of his fate.
    • The marketing material played the movie up as "the final adventure." Some of the trailers carried a more somber tone to reflect this, such as the "Ain't No Grave" trailer, or the "All Pirates Must Die" trailer, implying a more bittersweet, grandiose end to the franchise, ala Logan. The final film is a pretty standard Pirates adventure, barring the reunion between Will and Elizabeth and the death of Barbossa.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • The only reason Salazar's crew can escape and kill multiple people throughout the film is because Jack gives away his supernatural compass—one of his most valuable possessions—for a bottle of rum. (It may be justified by the fact that Jack has been drunk off his gourd for a while, just had his whole crew leave him, and is not thinking straight.)
    • It could also be seen as Jack's BSOD moment. He has become a failure, he has no ship, he has no crew, no one takes him seriously. The compass shows he wants to go out to sea but for him that is impossible. So he is giving up.
    • Then again, if he used that gold coin he apparently forgot about instead of the compass, Salazar would've never been freed.
    • If Henry had simply taken off his jacket (which was torn to indicate treason) after meeting Salazar, he would never have had to go on the run.


Example of: