Pirates of the Caribbean (film series)

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (12)
D: Gore Verbinski 
Buena Vista/Disney (Jerry Bruckheimer)
US 2003
143 mins

Adventure/Fantasy/Comedy

W: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
DP: Dariusz Wolski
Ed: Craig Wood, Stephen Rivkin & Arthur Schmidt
Mus: Klaus Badelt
PD: Brian Morris
Cos: Penny Rose

Johnny Depp (Capt. Jack Sparrow), Geoffrey Rush (Capt. Hector Barbossa), Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann), Jack Davenport (Commodore James Norrington), Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs), Zoe Saldana (Anamaria), Jonathan Pryce (Gov. Weatherby Swann)

Pirates of the Caribbean is a unique novelty from Disney studios, in the respect that the story is based upon one of the Disneyland theme parks attractions rather than vice versa, although the only part of the ride which made it into the story is a scene in which a trio of pirate prisoners use a bone to coax a dog to bring them the keys, everything else is from the screenwriters' pens. In fact, portions of ride have now been changed to better reflect the film, which feels like a bit of a cheat.
The film itself is wonderfully entertaining, mostly due to the scene-stealing performance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, mutinied from his duties on board his ship, the Black Pearl, so his former crew go on a quest for a cursed treasure.
This is all just back story though, as the film opens with Sparrow's arrest for piracy and subsequent escape when his former shipmates attack the port and abduct beautiful heiress Elizabeth Swann. 
With the help of roguish blacksmith Will Turner, Jack Sparrow escapes and the two men go on adventure to win back their respected beloved.
It's odd that the pirate sub-genre never really struck a chord with audiences, with all efforts since 1950's Treasure Island failing to register successfully at the box office, but with Hollywood behemoths Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer at the helm, this film became a mammoth hit, becoming a franchise in its own right with a trio of sequels and even further in the works.
It's a swashbuckling adventure suitable for all ages, though some scenes of mild horror might be a little frightening for very young children, while Johnny Depp's captivating performance likely to provide the entertainment for those older than the teenage years.
8/10

Johnny Depp & Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Johnny Depp & Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST (12)
D: Gore Verbinski 
Buena Vista/Disney (Jerry Bruckheimer)
US 2006
150 mins
 
Adventure/Fantasy/Comedy
 
W: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
DP: Dariusz Wolski
Ed: Craig Wood & Stephen Rivkin
Mus: Hans Zimmer
PD: Rick Heinrichs
 
Johnny Depp (Capt. Jack Sparrow), Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann), Stellan Skarsgård (Bootstrap Bill Turner), Bill Nighy (Davy Jones), Jack Davenport (James Norrington), Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs), Jonathan Pryce (Gov. Weatherby Swann), Lee Arenberg (Pintel), Mackenzie Crook (Ragetti), Naomie Harris (Tia Dalma), Geoffrey Rush (Barbossa)
 
The second Pirates of the Caribbean film went into production before a script had been completed, and some parts show.
More action-orientated than it's predecessor, though the action scenes are virtually recycled throughout the film.
The main trio of characters return, this time trying to outsail both the British fleet and a ghostly ship which carries the dead, helmed by squid-faced Davy Jones, who can only be stopped by Captain Sparrow & co finding a mythical chest that contains his soul.
Like the first film, it's Johnny Depp's charismatic performance that makes it eminently watchable, and while the story isn't quite as polished as it could have been, the visual effects are absolutely fantastic.
6/10

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END (12)
D: Gore Verbinski 
Buena Vista/Disney (Jerry Bruckheimer)
US 2007
168 mins

Adventure/Fantasy/Comedy

W: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
DP: Dariusz Wolski
Ed: Craig Wood & Stephen Rivkin
Mus: Hans Zimmer
PD: Rick Heinrichs

Johnny Depp (Capt. Jack Sparrow), Orlando Bloom (Will Turner), Keira Knightley (Elizabeth Swann), Geoffrey Rush (Hector Barbossa), Stellan Skarsgård (Bootstrap Bill Turner), Bill Nighy (Davy Jones), Jack Davenport (James Norrington), Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs), Jonathan Pryce (Gov. Weatherby Swann), Chow-Yun Fat (Sao Feng)

With the previous POTC film ending on a cliffhanger, this continuation of the same story is way too overlong, spending well over two-and-a-half hours trying to tie up all the loose ends which were left, then leaves one straggling anyway.
Once again, it's made watchable by brilliant special effects and Johnny Depp's charismatic, scene-stealing performance. A better screenplay would have given more to laugh at, but he's still the only actor who could do justice to the role of Captain Jack Sparrow.
As for the rest of the cast, they mostly look fed up, especially Orlando Bloom, who projects the feeling that he only tagged along due to contractual obligations.
4/10

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (12)
D: Rob Marshall
Buena Vista/Disney (Jerry Bruckheimer)
US 2011
137 mins

Adventure/Fantasy

W: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio [based on the book "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers]
DP: Dariusz Wolski
Ed: David Brenner & Wyatt Smith
Mus: Hans Zimmer
PD: Rick Heinrichs

Johnny Depp (Capt. Jack Sparrow), Penelope Cruz (Angelica), Ian McShane (Blackbeard), Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs), Geoffrey Rush (Capt. Hector Barbossa)      

As long as Johnny Depp is signed up to star as Captain Jack Sparrow, the franchise will always have a bit of steam to carry it, he is easily the most entertaining factor in all the movies. His talents as an actor gloss over how ridiculously over the top the stories are and how they practically all follow the same formula.
This fourth adventure dispenses with the tedious Keira Knightley-Orlando Bloom love story as Sparrow gets a new crew and a new bit of eye candy (Penelope Cruz), as well as a new quest- one for the fountain of youth. A huge criticism would be of the dark photography, which in places make it incredibly difficult to make out what's actually going on. An improvement on part 3 (At World's End), but a big step behind the first film.
Unfortunately, the success of the films will guarantee Disney studios' desire to make more sequels at the expense of putting any actual effort into the screenplays.
5/10
 
Johnny Depp & Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Johnny Depp & Penelope Cruz in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR'S REVENGE (aka PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES) (12)

D: Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg

Disney (Jerry Bruckheimer)

US 2017

129 mins


Action/Adventure


W: Jeff Nathanson & Terry Rossio [based on Disney's "Pirates Of The Caribbean]

DP: Paul Cameron

Ed: Roger Barton & Leigh Folsom Boyd

Mus: Geoff Zanelli


Johnny Depp (Capt. Jack Sparrow), Javier Bardem (Capt. Salazar), Geoffrey Rush (Capt. Barbossa), Brenton Thwaites (Henry Turner), Kaya Scodelario (Carina Smyth), Kevin McNally (Joshamee Gibbs)


While most studios and producers would have called quits on this franchise after the last instalment, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer will do their utmost to wring it completely dry and get as much money as they can from the cinema-going public.

This fifth film is, by far, the weakest of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies, reusing much of the plot from the first film in the absence of originality.

Victim of a mutiny once again from the crew of the Black Pearl, captain Jack Sparrow teams up with Henry Turner (son of Will) in the attempt to break a curse and repel the zombie-like crew of Captain Salazar.

Despite having some good visual effects, nothing else in this movie seems to have been done with any conviction, particularly the performances of a talented cast who must have been laughing all the way to the bank.

Young British actress Kaya Scodelario certainly made a mistake accepting the role in this one, following some solid work on TV and The Maze Runner series of films.

A disappointing summer blockbuster.

4/10


Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales