Who is this movie for? It is not for innocent children. They do not know who this skull-faced, mascara-slathered man is, prancing and mugging on a boat. It is not for adults, who, in our Age of Netflix, have better ways to distract themselves from their decaying bodies and looming deaths. Is it for the type of simpleton who says “carpe diem” and believes “time is precious”? This movie will annihilate their simpering ideology—it is more than two hours long but feels like 40. It bends space-time.
Is it for Orlando Bloom lovers? Nay, for sweet Lando barely appears, and, cursed by the fetid sea, has an itchy case of Barnacle Face. Is it for people interested in hearing Javier Bardem invent weird ways to say “Jack Sparrow”? Javier Bardem won an Academy Award for No Country for Old Men; now he is an old ghost whose head has been burned away by CGI. Ash drifts off him like fat dandruff. Speaking of Oscars, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s Kon-Tiki was nominated for best foreign language film! Now they have made a movie about Johnny Depp pratfalling into pigshit.
Is it for Paul McCartney? Our beloved Beatle appears, tells a joke involving a skeleton, a beer, and a mop—and then he vanishes. Beatles are mysteries. Is it for Johnny Depp, who can never shake the sad sense of sadness that clings to the saddest of grown-up theater kids? He gets digitally de-aged in this, and it does not help.
Is it for Disney, who saw an opening in multiplexes between its Marvels and Star Warses and Pixars and Beauty and the Beasts and Moanas? The Pirates films are kind of like those movies, in that they are an easily replicable product, but they are also different, in that they are bad. I have seen them all and remember nothing, except that in one Legolas maybe fought Squid Beard, and in another there was a… big octopus? This one has a boat that eats other boats.
Is this movie for you? It is not for you. It is not for anyone. Do not look at it. Look anywhere else. Look anywhere but the sunken eyes of Johnny Depp.