55 Questions About Pirates 5
Pirates of the Caribbean is my archetype for a perfect movie franchise. And yes, that includes the fourth one. It has no source material (it's based on a ride, which begs the question of when we're getting a movie called 'Big Thunder'), and therefore no relative standard for failure. It has a recognizable character separate from the actor, to the point that Johnny Depp (a reputed actor before Pirates) is now more Sparrow than he is Depp. It is cognizant of its own absurdity, which liberates them to create over-the-top chase scenes and fun stunts. And it has a formula that can let it make ten sequels: surround Johnny Depp with quick-witted quippers and have him seek out some legendary treasure.
The latest installment is no exception – even despite the weird plotlines and interesting story choices that marred its fun romp through the Caribbean. Here are 55 questions – and in some cases, my suggested answers – for the writers and viewers of the latest Disney cash grab. Spoilers ahead.
(1) How did Will Turner's son know exactly where to jump into the water? Doesn't the Flying Dutchman, like, move around?
(2) Why didn't Will Turner name his kid Will? His father was named Bill. Maybe he could have named his kid Billiam.
(3) Could young Henry Turner really swim all that way out to sea? The Dutchman probably doesn't hang out all too close to land.
(4) Why is Will Turner covered in barnacles and sea debris? Doesn't that only apply if you've failed your duty to ferry souls to the next world?
(5) Did Will fail his duty? In which case, wouldn't he have a tentacle-y mustache already?
(6) Why was Henry Turner on a random British ship if he was looking for the Trident of Poseidon?
(7) When the British ship entered the Triangle, why didn't all their men get ghost-ified? They just died normally?
(8) By the way, where was Blackbeard at the meeting of all the Pirate Lords in the third movie?
(9) And why wasn't the Brethren Court convened back when Salazar was blasting ships out of the water back when he was human? Surely that's important enough for them to meet.
(10) How were there so many pirate lords still hanging around if Salazar had killed most of the pirates in the region?
(11) Where did Jack actually get his compass from? Supposedly he got it from his old captain on his deathbed, but there's also the previous mention that Tia Dalma bartered it to him. Some theories:
Jack got it from Tia Dalma as a gift for his captain and got it back later when his captain died
Jack traded for it from Tia Dalma in exchange for a promise that he would help free 'Calypso'
Jack got it from his captain, and Tia Dalma later added the magical powers – both the points-to-the-thing-you-desire-most parts, and the if-you-betray-it-then-your-worst-fears-will-be-released parts
(12) Why does the compass have the weirdly specific power to release Salazar?
(13) What is the threshold for betrayal? Is it dishonor? Alcoholism? Jack's given his compass away before – to Elizabeth, to Will, and to Gibbs. Giving it to Will wasn't a generous act, it was to save his own skin.
(14) Shouldn't Elizabeth, Will, and Gibbs (and also technically Cutler Beckett) all have had their worst fears released? Actually, maybe they did. Elizabeth's and Will's were separation from each other (which happened). Beckett's was probably the betrayal of Davy Jones.
(15) Is Gibbs' worst fear the undead monkey?
(16) On the note of the monkey, shouldn't it be no longer undead at the end of this movie? Since its curse was broken too.
(17) Or, does the curse of Cortes' treasure count as a land-based curse, since it was found on an island? Then the Trident wouldn't work, since it deals with sea-based curses.
(18) What if your worst fear is already out there? Does it release your second-worst fear? Not everyone's fears are trapped inside a mystical triangle.
(19) Why was the Saint Mary no longer trapped in the triangle but still all ghost-ified? The compass only controls part of the curse?
(20) Did the compass decide that Salazar is more fearsome while he's undead, and hence leave him undead to get back at Jack?
(21) Why can't Salazar and his crew walk on land? That just makes him look like a weird hybrid of Barbossa's skeleton crew and Davy Jones' land-averse one.
(22) Wait, but only Davy Jones couldn't walk on land, his crew could! Shouldn't Salazar's crew be the same then?
(23) Maybe the compass was actually responsible for the Barbossa curse too! What if he stole the compass from Jack at one point and the compass got mad? But stealing is slightly different from betrayal so the Barbossa curse was different from the Salazar curse? Maybe the compass hates land too.
(24) Davy Jones could walk on land if he stood in a bucket of water, so why didn't Salazar do the same thing?
(25) Also why didn't Elizabeth Swann come aboard the Dutchman every now and then for a quickie? There's no restrictions for her being on there… or both of them meeting on a mutual ship.
(26) Hold on, Salazar is a ghost. So how can he hold a sword?
(27) Wouldn't his body fail to even recognize the difference between land and water, since he technically kinda just floats around?
(28) Also is Jack semi-immortal? Or at least long-lived? He's probably around 18 when he first fights Salazar. Some time after that, his ship is sunk and Davy Jones brings it back for 13 years, which is when he first comes for Jack. Will and Elizabeth conceive Henry ten years after Jones dies, and Henry is also probably around 18 when he meets Jack. So Jack would be at least 59 by now, a lot longer than the average life expectancy of that time.
(29) As a corollary, why did Jack get to strike a special deal with Davy Jones? He didn't really offer a BOGO to any of his other souls.
(30) Was Salazar really Jack's worst fear? It seems unlikely that Jack's even thought about him in years. Jack probably thought he was dead too! Why would he be afraid of them? If anything, he'd be afraid of Davy Jones! Remember when he was cowering on an island for the first half an hour of a movie?
(31) Why did Jack trade the compass for a drink? It's an odd thing to instinctively trade, especially when you have like ten other possessions you can trade.
(32) Didn't he have a coin left over from that robbery that he could have used? Or maybe his hat?
(33) Did he not remember the compass' curse when the whole room shook after he put it on the table?
(31) How did that witch lady Shansa get the compass from the bartender?
(32) Should we stop talking about that goddamn compass? Yeah, you're probably right.
(33) Why did Shansa help Barbossa, and then help the British people?
(34) What exactly are Shansa powers? Do they include conveniently knowing things?
(35) Why did Barbossa not take Shansa with him? Seems like, given the history of Tia Dalma, having a sea witch would be useful. Especially when you're, you know, at sea.
(36) How did the blood moon help Carina decode the journal? Would any red light have worked? How did she not figure that out with her science-y wits. Witch!
(37) And how was Carina allowed to have her journal in jail? Don't they stop-n-frisk in the Caribbean?
(38) Why was Carina persecuted for supposedly being a witch, but Shansa wasn't?
(39) Was living tissue the only thing that was ghost-ified aboard the Silent Mary? If so, that means the ship is still regular material, which also means that it should have burned down! So Salazar and company should have technically been without a ship.
(40) Why did Jack's dad not come up in the conversation with his uncle?
(41) Why didn't Barbossa use his sword's powers when Salazar boarded his ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge? You know, how he can control the ropes and other objects on the ship. Even if Salazar is a ghost, we've established that his weapons aren't, and ghosts without weapons are as intimidating as Casper.
(42) Why are some crews consistently a lot less loyal than others? Barbossa's crew is fiercely loyal, while Jack's tends to be less so.
(43) How did Salazar have ghost sharks? Does that mean that there were sharks aboard the Mary when it entered the Devil's Triangle? If so, why? If not, can Salazar turn random things into ghosts? Maybe the ghosts are involved in a separate curse and pledged loyalty to Salazar because they want to find the trident too.
(44) How did Barbossa get away from Salazar for long enough to find Jack on that island?
(45) What did Jack do with the rest of the ships that Gibbs stole from the Revenge? They couldn't open any of them without Barbossa's sword. Maybe Jack traded those for alcohol too.
(46) Speaking of which, where did Blackbeard get all of those magic bottles to put the ships in? Did he just have a stockroom on the Revenge?
(47) How did Jack carry around The Black Pearl all that time? It was a pretty big bottle, did he just keep that in his inner jacket pocket?
(48) If Salazar can just possess people like he did with Henry, why doesn't he do that all the time? He could have done that so he could walk on land. And if he can do that, why even bother breaking the curse? Why not just possess someone and live through them?
(49) Where was Poseidon's tomb? Wasn't the trident supposed to be buried right next to it? Also why didn't Tia Dalma try to seek out the trident to break her own curse?
(50) Did the trident just shoot water at people? Why didn't they just get Omi from Xiaolin Showdown?
(51) Why was the trident so brittle? Was it all that time that it spent in the water? It was easier to break than the bottle that held the Pearl.
(52) What technically qualifies as land? Since Davy Jones could be on an island while standing in a bucket of water, could he also walk on the ocean floor? Does Salazar have to stay inside a bubble of water even though he's technically walking on the ocean floor? Why does a ship not qualify as 'land'?
(53) Again, why didn't Barbossa use his ship's powers to save himself with some ropes? Ugh.
(54) I guess they could only afford 3 minutes of screentime of Orlando Bloom. And like 1 minute from Keira Knightley. But if breaking the trident breaks the curse, shouldn't Will go back to how he was immediately pre-curse? As in, stabbed through the heart?
(55) WHY IS DAVY JONES ALIVE? He fell into the ocean! As a mortal!
Still, a great movie.