For a franchise that started with a movie based on a Disney theme park ride Pirates of the Caribbean has shown remarkable staying power and has raked in the mighty booty of more than $4.5 billion at the box office.
This week Senior Writer Sommer was struck by the lightning of inspiration to review the franchise. So I thought it would be a good time to update my own list. So yo ho ho and shiver me timbers! Here are All 5 Pirates of the Caribbean Flicks Ranked:
#5 Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
This film showed the Powers That Be had truly run out of ideas as this felt like a lazy rehash of the first movie. We had ghostly pirates AGAIN led by a former foe of Jack Sparrow AGAIN (this time a scenery-devouring Javier Bardem) and much-less interesting versions of Will and Elizabeth. Even the action felt uninspired. The only positive was some cool-looking special effects. Otherwise this film is very much been-there seen-that.
#4 At World’s End (2007)
Time traveling note to director Gore Verbinski – a Pirates film does not need to be THREE HOURS and eight minutes. You are not Lord of the Rings and a really long run time does not automatically equal an epic film.
For some inexplicable reason the decision was made to move away from the fun and light adventure of the first two films and make the third installment a protracted, bloated, overly complicated mess. I kept watching my watch throughout this film wondering when World’s End would end.
Sure there are a few fun moments in there but there were too many plot points – including that waste of time stuff with the goddess Calypso – and it all went on so long that it sucked out any enjoyment that was experienced. And then the final scene with the pirate fleet facing off against the navy was such a let down. This one sunk to the bottom because it was unnecessarily overloaded.
#3 Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
When I watched Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for the first time I got the feeling that this was the movie George Lucas really wanted to make and the other two were kind of filler. Dead Man’s Chest is a filler movie waiting for At World’s End and if you read above you would see that did not turn out well at all.
With Dead Man’s Chest we return to Captain Jack off on another kooky adventure and see him reunited with Will and his darling Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley). We meet evil ocean lord Davy Jones (a tentacled Bill Nighy) and his motley band of sea men and see our heroes face off against the dreaded Kraken. But Jones was more spectacle than scary and the love triangle between Jack, Will and Liz fell flat. I will give the film props for keeping things light and fun, even if they were just marking time for the next film.
#2 On Stranger Tides (2011)
This movie gets its share of flack but I had a fun time with it and found On Stranger Tides to be a return to form. Verbinski bowed out for this one and Bloom and Knightley were also missing for this entry. In their place we had Chicago director Rob Marshall and Penélope Cruz as pirate Blackbeard’s daughter, a spicy, devious and energetic lass. We also had the wonderful Geoffrey Rush as foe-turned-ally Captain Barbossa front and center.
On Stranger Tides is a light little adventure featuring deadly mermaids and the search for the fountain of youth. And after three films it felt fresh and new and that is something you need for a franchise more than a decade old.
#1 The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Pirates follows the pattern of franchises like The Matrix and Die Hard where no sequel is able to match or even surpass the brilliance of the original. And my goodness gracious me The Curse of the Black Pearl is a wonderful fantasy adventure.
Depp gives his best Sparrow performance, Bloom has a great hero’s arc, Knightley is sweet and spunky, the ghost pirates are genuinely creepy and Barbossa is a terrific villain. There are lots of laughs and a ship load’s worth of fantastic action sequences. This is a movie you can pop on repeatedly and enjoy every single time. And that is why it is the best of all the Pirates flicks.
So which is your favourite Pirates of the Caribbean film? And what did you think of the Dead Men Tell No Tales trailer? Feel free to comment below and if you enjoyed this you can share with your peeps. Sharing is caring.