Thursday, April 25, 2024

Bad Reviews May Damage Johnny Depp’s Career with Disney’s 5th “Pirates of the Caribbean” Possibly Its Last


How much more damage can Johnny Depp’s career take? “The Lone Ranger” was a gigantic disaster. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” was a worldwide hit, but a dud in the US. Little movies like “Mortdecai” have bombed as well. His divorce from Amber Heard was heard, literally around the world. His crazy finances have been splashed all over the tabloids.

So what’s left? Seems that the 5th “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie — called “Dead Men Tell No Tales” — could be his last. Depp’s Jack Sparrow may finally have worn out his welcome as early reviews are quite bad. Typical is the Hollywood Reporter take: “Depp remains wholeheartedly the focus of this fifth Pirates film, and saying the character’s loopy novelty has faded is like complaining that there are maggots in the below-decks gruel: You knew what you were getting when you came aboard.”

Still, brand recognition should help “Pirates” have a decent first weekend before the bottom drops out. Disney is hoping people will flock to the movie the way they buy Oreos or Diet Coke in the supermarket only to realize when they get home they didn’t need them.

If the franchise is over for Depp, he’ll be forced back into regular movies. He has a few in the can including “London Fields” and “Murder on the Orient Express.” Will he be able to act without the gimmickry of Jack Sparrow? So far, he hasn’t had an easy time of it. But I always liked his work in “Finding Neverland.” Hey may yet surprise us. As for “Pirates,” let’s hope Paul McCartney’s cameo will be the draw.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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