Perhaps it was a coincidence that the two major releases for the Memorial Day holiday both had watery settings. There was no way in the world I would have set foot in an auditorium in which Baywatch was playing; therefore, I had to settle for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. We have to hope that both franchises have gone to their final resting place.
The fifth installment of the Pirates series is certainly better than its predecessor, but it has very little substance. The special effects are very good, but watching eighteenth-century vessels rising from the “vasty deep” can become monotonous. The actual date of the story is questionable since there are some allusions that don’t quite match the supposed time of the story, particularly a reference to the guillotine; I also find it difficult to swallow the notion that Galileo spent most of his life trying to find an ancient treasure by studying the constellations in order to find a map.
Several scenes seem to have been lifted from earlier pirate movies such as Robert Shaw’s Swashbuckler and Geena Davis’s Cutthroat Island. The cast is good, and Johnny Depp’s performance as Jack Sparrow is reasonably restrained. The movie is fun, but is too gruesome for the very young.