Johnny Depp Returns Better Than Ever In “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

DETROIT (WWJ) – “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” finds Captain Jack Sparrow in an unusual spot: robbing a bank. The bank is located on the beautiful island of St. Martin, and that’s where this very fun and entertaining movie takes off; literally.

deadmentellnotales bank Johnny Depp Returns Better Than Ever In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

When Sparrow is discovered – and caught in the act – sort of, a chase ensues involving his crew and the authorities. But this scene takes the chase to an all-new level as it involves the actual bank. That scene has some funny and surprising moments and, undoubtedly, will also have some viewers wondering “how did they do that?”

This fifth film in the franchise arrives nearly 14 years after the original. And the franchise has certainly evolved over time. While the popular characters return time and again, in this installment — which most certainly won’t be the last — Captain Jack has a new adversary: Captain Salazar.

Salazar and his crew are trapped in the Devil’s Triangle, and they’re not only looking for a way out, they’re also seeking revenge. And, to get it, they go looking for Captain Jack.

Of all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, this is my favorite. While Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow has typically been “over the top,” so to speak, he’s toned that down a bit, so I enjoyed his performance much more this time around. The story of Salazar, his ghost crew and his ghost ship was also very creative and not at all predictable.

If you’re a longtime fan of Captain Jack Sparrow, there’s a lot to like about this movie and you will not be disappointed. If you’re among those who strayed away sometime during the past 13 years, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” will give you plenty of reasons to come back.

So, Just How Did They Shoot That Bank Scene?

Here’s the answer, straight from the production notes:

This important, complex sequence was shot intermittently over the course of many weeks.

On February 23 (2015), the first morning of the bank heist shoot, first assistant director Chris Castaldi surveyed the spectacle before him on the St. Martin set, and noted the shot about to take place: “Twelve horses pulling an entire bank building are going to gallop down the road here and crash through a market. Three of the stalls have ratchets so they’re going to go flying back into the walls. Then I’ve got forty stunt guys jumping out of the way. Paul Cameron has seven cameras working, two long lenses, two crash boxes, a handheld, a crane up on a roof, and a drone flying in the sky. So it’s a fun little stunt to start our Monday morning off. What could possibly go wrong? It’s going to be great!”

Stunt coordinator Tommy Harper certainly had his hands full with this extraordinarily difficult sequence. “We started off with a bang, right out of the gate,” he smiles. “We had the great Australian wrangler, Grahame Ware, Jr., on the lead horse. And we had a great stuntman and motorcycle racer originally from the Gold Coast, Mark Tearle, driving the bank.”

And just how does one go about driving a bank?

“We have a tractor-like vehicle, called a Manitou, and the art department actually built the whole bank around it,” Harper explains. “There’s a Plexiglas false-front of the bank, and, although we can’t see through it, Mark can from the inside. He would drive it and we would talk him through it as he’s ripping through stuff and going around corners. It was a real team effort between the wranglers, the special effects department, and our stunt department.”

See you at the movies!

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday for my weekly look at the movies with Midday Anchor Jackie Paige.

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

Member:
Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA)
Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS)
African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)

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