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Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

May 23, 2017

What Should Happen in Pirates of the Caribbean 5?

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Everyone has their guilty pleasures. I have to admit, Pirates of the Caribbean is one of mine. How can you not love the soundtrack from At World’s End? Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is just around the corner, and I’m wondering what they’re going to do with it. After internet pirates ironically “pirated” the movie, which is about pirates, I wondered what would possess them to do that. Could the film be worthy of being stolen? To me, it seems that it will be like every other Pirates movie. But, then I thought, “Could it work?” What are some things that should happen to make this next, and final, film satisfying? Below are my suggestions for Dead Men Tell No Tales.

First, and most important, the soundtrack needs to be amazing. The soundtrack for these movies kept upping the ante until the fourth where the score got more tired. But, the third, by far, has the best musical score and some of my personal favorites. Unfortunately, the follow up to that film was really disappointing. The composer for the next film isn’t Hans Zimmer, who wrote for the other Pirates films (along with Klaus Badelt for Curse of the Black Pearl). Instead, it is Geoff Zanelli, who has worked with Zimmer before. He composed for films like the Lone Ranger and Rango, which are both entertaining scores, so I have high hopes for this one. And, of course, the icing on the cake will have to be He’s a Pirate, the song that is the reason why Pirates of the Caribbean is so well known.

Next, the CGI will have to be convincing. We’ve already seen CGI shots featuring the young Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) the trailer, but they looked inhuman and creepy. With advances in technology, as seen in films like The Hunger Games and Rogue One, visual effects artists can now recreate live actors with clips of their voices and CGI. However, this hasn’t been perfected yet, so people don’t move as they should and come across as human robots or zombies. I hope Dead Men Tell No Tales stayed away from CGI as much as possible and used more practical effects. Maybe they used someone who looks like young Johnny Depp to play him. For a series that utilized locational shooting and practical effects (except with undead characters), hopefully they sticked to more of that.

Here’s a small note: fingers crossed that there are more period appropriate jokes. Surprisingly, for a movie set in a more conservative time, the most commentary we got was on the East India Trading Company and corsets. No one comments on just how crazy everything is because they’re crazy too. In the trailer, there was a joke about seeing a girl’s ankles, which would have been something not expected at the time. I then realized that there aren’t any straight characters to contradict the insanity of everything else. There’s a new male character, Henry, who counters Jack’s insanity and could really add depth to the story that never existed before. Will and Elizabeth were supposed to but were really outcasts within their own society. Speaking of which, it is confirmed that Henry is their son, which is also an interesting choice that can lead to a lot of possibilities.

Please, no romantic interest! If there’s anything we learned from these films is that they struggle with writing romance. If they’re going this route, I hope the new director knows how to do that. I almost vomited in my mouth when Will presented the chest with his heart and says it always belonged to Elizabeth. Not to mention, the same story arc repeats across the second and third movies, though it was already effectively wrapped up in just the first. I understand that both of these characters will be in this one, but I hope they have a small role. As for the prominent characters, Jack, Henry and the new girl, whose name we don’t know yet, the plot can do without a romantic subplot.

I hope that the trident remains undiscovered, if it actually exists. The other Pirates movies are all about hunting for something, whether it’s coins, a heart, Jack, or the Fountain of Youth. So, what could this plot about Jack running away from ghost pirates while looking for some object offer? What if they never find it? We’ve seen other mythical elements, such as the Kraken, but maybe sometimes myths are just exactly that: myths. And, some people waste their lives away looking for objects that they can never hope to find. A Norse myth in the Caribbean is already stretching the suspension of disbelief for me, but the trident of Poseidon in the Caribbean is utterly ridiculous. Maybe that’s a hint that he won’t find it, since it’s too fantastical. And, when Jack realizes he is wasting his life looking for nothing it will be too late, which leads to my next point.

Jack needs to die. I’m sorry, but this film franchise needs to end. I enjoy it, but it has to have a purpose to continue. And, since it is continuing, it has to make a ballsy move and finally kill off Jack Sparrow for good. It would also make sense in context. Jack finally realized how much trouble he has caused and that he will only cause more pain if he is alive. So, he will make a sacrifice and let all he has done overtake and kill him. They tried this with Dead Man’s Chest, but it didn’t work.

What lacks in the other films is a backstory of Jack Sparrow. Who is he other than a crazy pirate who likes rum and bad deals? How did he become a pirate? The trailer hints that there will be some character development regarding his past. Exploring Jack more as a character will make him more engaging and well-rounded.

So, what should the film look like? I see it as an adventure chase, not unlike the other installments of the series. Captain Salazar wants revenge on Jack for crashing his ship and crew, so he initiates it. Meanwhile, Jack hears of the escape and desperately tries to evade death again. Going on a limb, he hears of a girl who knows about the trident of Poseidon, so he gets an idea to go after it. While on the way to her, he gets help from someone who misinterprets his intentions, Henry, and gets roped in as well. Salazar, meanwhile, has been looking for Jack and recruited Barbossa, Gibbs and Will, all who have prior beef with Jack. While Jack looks for the trident, we finally learn Jack’s backstory, and we learn Henry is a Turner, the third in a generation Jack has crewed with, making him a sort of godfather. His obsession with the trident is causing the others some sort of mishaps. Jack evades Salazar a few times, but when the Black Pearl is finally freed from the bottle, he makes a final stand. Everything that he has done up until then comes to face him, as Angelica is also involved. In this fight, Jack is killed, Salazar can be at peace and the others leave. The Turners are the only ones mourning, since Jack has been involved in their family for generations. It wraps-up with Henry and the girl leaving together while Salazar departs with Will on the Dutchman. The final shot maybe a hint that they were almost at the trident’s location.

At least that is my take on what might make Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales a good movie. It must be at least half decent for internet pirates to want to steal it and have Disney pay ransom for it. Anyway, what do you think should happen? Feel free to comment and let me know what you think below.

Trip Hastings is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at gh357@cornell.edu.

  • Ockie

    a deep sea monster should eat johnny dipshit and his mascara so that he will never be seen again