Toothy Trailers: POTC 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales

There is no doubt that the Walt Disney-produced Pirates of the Caribbean series should be fully reviewed here on The Shark Film Office when all is said and done. While none of the films are expressly about sharks, there are glimpses of sharks here and there throughout the series, and that in itself would at least get a couple of the titles in the mix. When you widen the search to the broader theme of this website – which can include all manner of ocean life, specifically those creatures generally considered menaces by the idiots who make up the huge portion of humanity that makes things troublesome, dangerous, and noxious for the rest of us – then most of the films in the Pirates series would undoubtedly have to be counted. And if you expand it to the fantasy element that tends to flit at the edges of The Shark Film Office – the part that includes krakens of mythic proportions, half-man/half-shark buccaneers, octopus-headed captains, and murderous mermaids – then all five films end up in the mix.

With the fifth film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, I am not expecting very much. I was almost out the door after the third installment, which was progressively weirder than its predecessors but without really allowing the viewer to continue to believe in the original world with which we were presented in the still quite excellent first film. I felt that the fourth film, On Stranger Tides, was a step up from the third film. While I quite liked many of the effects and the inclusion of Ian McShane as Blackbeard, I still left the theatre knowing that the series really should have stopped at that point.

And yet, there was that fifth film to which they had signed star Johnny Depp, who is just so eager to play Captain Jack Sparrow these days that the characters seems to have not filtered into his other acting jobs, but also his real life. My opinion on Depp once ran so high that I rated him as one of my favorite actors in the world, and sometimes had him (surprisingly to many of my friends) right at the top. This was 19-20 years ago. Times have changed, and while I feel that he can still turn in a fascinating performance when he is taken far away from the clutches of both Disney and Tim Burton – such as his role as Whitey Bulger in Black Mass a couple of years ago, a truly steely, unnerving characterization – I feel he gets too attracted to playing the broader, more flamboyant types like Jack Sparrow, the Mad Hatter, and Willy Wonka to make me believe that he has rather broken his compass at some point along the way, and has a harder and harder time finding the path back to his old self. It's not that I don't want him to play huge, iconic roles, but I would prefer that he balance out the family friendly with more of the "edgy" parts that he used to do more frequently.

Look, we can debate Depp for eons, but we are here discussing the new Pirates movie on this particular site for one reason only: sharks. And that is what we get in the trailer for the fifth film. First, let's take a quick peak...

Shark! Not just a shark, though, but a ZOMBIE SHARK! Or an undead shark, or a ghost shark, or whatever it will end up being according to the plot devices within the film. Obviously, I have not seen the film yet, but living in the household that I do, with at least two huge fans of the series straight through its run (unlike me), it is pretty unlikely that I will miss it. And I have the inclusion of a shark within the film that will give me a free pass at being whiny if I need to use it to see the film. (Not that I don't get to see pretty much any film that I wish anyway...)

Do I care about anything else in the film from this trailer? Will it be any good? Does it really matter? Aren't we in for at three or four more of these things before Jerry Bruckheimer, Depp, and Disney are through? As long as they keep including sharks (undead or otherwise), and octopuses, squids, mermaids, etc., I will keep showing up to them. Was never really in it for the pirates anyway...


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