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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

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PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES

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(Franchise sequel)

The three generations of women in the Fowler family all love Johnny Depp, but even Joyce will admit that his presence in this sequel is not enough to save the movie from drowning in its own familiarity.

Let's face it. There's not a lot of new stuff you can add to a pirate movie. You've got the sea battles, the ghost ship, the peg-legged captain, the drunken sailors and, of course, a hidden treasure. And you've got Johnny Depp reprising his drunken Jack Sparrow character, which gets old quickly.

There's a plot of sorts. Young sailor Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) sets out to find Jack Sparrow and save his father from his eternal existence at the bottom of the sea. The treasure is Poseidon's trident. The problem is that there are both a ghost ship and the authorities in on the chase. This calls for endless sea battles, all played out in smoke and darkness.

Henry teams up with Sparrow and a young woman scientist (Kaya Scodelario), who has been branded a witch, to find the trident. There are two hysterically funny scenes early in the movie that gave us hope, but the ensuing battles go on too long (over two hours) to hold your interest.

We are introduced to Sparrow as he tries to rob St. Martin's new bank. His cohorts drag the entire building through the narrow streets of the island with Sparrow in tow. He is caught and sentenced, along with the accused witch. Their escape is frantic, funny and original and the highlight of the movie.

After that, it is just more of the same, including a series of flashbacks attempting to connect all of the characters and past events.

Few stayed around for the neverending list of credits to watch a confusing scene suggesting yet another sequel.

Rated PG-13, with profanity and violence.

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