Filthy lucre has driven many a man to a bad end, some at the blade of a rusty cutlass and others at the prospect of overspilling coffers from box office receipts. How the audience goes for this latest film in the mega-budget series — that originated with a Disneyland ride — is yet to be seen as this review goes to press.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” has been called a “soft reboot” of the series, but given the huge, empty-headed cacophony of its plot, the most prominent softness is the idea this ship is barely even seaworthy.
The story, such that it is, concerns yet another magical object that drunken, unintelligible Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has to embark on a quest to find, or at least that’s what the Disney PR suits state in its synopsis. In the film, it’s actually the quest of a brilliant young female astronomer, Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who is searching for the mythical trident of Poseidon. As it turns out, so are the very grossly dead pirate Capt. Salazar (Javier Bardem) and a young man with ties to all their pasts named Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites).
The trident apparently has the power to take down all curses and, if it exists, means all sorts of things for the main characters — which fans are supposed to have filed away in their own Davy Jones’ locker of memories from previous films.
One of the hallmarks of the series is how special effects have rendered the tale’s spectral scallywags as not just diaphanous phantoms, but truly gross-looking apparitions with missing parts, rotting features and a menacing countenance for all. While often played for comic effect, there’s enough distasteful imagery to maybe spark a nightmare or two.
Capt. Salazar has managed to escape from the Devil’s Triangle — thanks to a miscalculation on the part of British Capt. Scarfield (David Wenham). Now, Salazar is determined to kill every pirate at sea — namely Jack. If Jack can get his hands on the trident of Poseidon, he can save his neck. But, to do so, he must forge an alliance with Carina Smyth and Henry, a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his shabby little ship, Jack is on a quest that just might save himself and his world.
Along the way, we are reacquainted with many characters from the previous movies, including Capt. Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and even Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley).
If you’re a fan of the series, this movie will probably be a fun amusement park ride of huge action sequences — one particularly stunning one involving zombie sharks — but, if you’re not, at least take solace in knowing it’s the shortest one of the bunch, clocking in at 129 minutes. Oh, and stay through the credits for a brief scene at the very end.“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence and some suggestive content.
This film is screening daily.
Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theaters, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4145 or visit storyteller7.com.
Also showing in Taos
The following were compiled frompress materials.
MPAA rating: R for language throughout, crude sexual content and graphic nudity
Mitchell Storyteller 7
In Emerald Bay, Florida, Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and his team of lifeguards, including second-in-commmand Stephanie Holden (Ilfenesh Hadera) and veteran C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach), protect the beaches and the bay as part of an elite division known as Baywatch. Having made more than 500 rescues in his career, Mitch is beloved by the community, to the annoyance of local beat cop Garner Ellerbee (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Mitch’s superior, Capt. Thorne (Rod Huebel). During one of his morning patrols, Mitch discovers a small pouch of drugs washed up near the Huntley Club, which is now under the ownership of businesswoman Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra).
At the upcoming tryouts for new lifeguards, three people stand out: surfer Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario), an old friend of Holden’s; Ronnie (Jon Bass), a chubby nerd with a crush on C.J.; and Matt Brody (Zac Efron), a former Olympic swimmer who fell from grace after vomiting during a race and now has to perform community service as part of an unspecified plea deal. Quinn and Ronnie both pass the trials, but Brody refuses to do so and insists that his celebrity status alone entitles him to a place on the team.
The team is called into action when a private yacht catches fire, during which Brody disobeys orders and dives directly under the flames, causing him to nearly drown before Holden and C.J. save him. Most of the boat’s occupants are saved, with the exception of a deceased man identified as a city official. When Mitch tries to investigate his body, Ellerbee shows up and informs him that he is not a cop and has no business trying to solve a crime. But, of course, together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the bay.
Later, when Mitch finally inducts Quinn, Ronnie and Brody into Baywatch, he introduces their new captain. Three guesses who it is.
This film will be screened daily.
Mitchell Storyteller 7 Theatres, 110 Old Talpa Cañón Road. For show times, tickets and additional information, call (575) 751-4245 or visit storyteller7.com.
The Country Doctor
MPAA rating: Not rated
Movies at the TCA
All the people in this countryside area can count on Jean-Pierre (Francois Cluzet), the doctor who auscultates them, heals and reassures them day and night, seven days a week. Now Jean-Pierre is sick, so he sees Natalie (Marianne Denicourt), a young doctor coming from the hospital to assist him. But will she adapt to this new life and be able to replace the man that was believed to be irreplaceable?
The film will be shown in French with English subtitles.
This film will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday (June 4) and at 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (June 5-7).
Movies at the TCA film series, Taos Community Auditorium, 145 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. For tickets and additional information, call the Taos Center for the Arts at (575) 758-2052 or visit tcataos.org.