The latest Pirates of the Caribbean film , directed by Norwegians Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, has been brutally panned by film critics in the US. The New York Times questioned whether it could even be called a film.
Its film critic, AO Scott, wrote at the outset that the review (external link to the Times) would be “short and dismissive” about a film that was “long and punishing.” Scott claimed that Dead Men Tell No Tales (Salazar’s Revenge in Norwegian) “becomes almost the perfect opposite of entertainment” and that Rønning’s and Sandberg’s work created “a tedious rehash” of earlier and better versions of the Pirates films.
The Norwegian directing duo received much kinder treatment in the Norwegian media. Newspaper VG‘s reviewer claimed that Rønning and Sandberg “could give each other a well-deserved pat on the shoulder” because the fifth film in the Pirates series “couldn’t have been much better,” while NRK’s Filmpolice described the film as “a sword-swinging epic that holds a high tempo for two tightly packed hours.” Newspaper Dagbladet was more reserved, giving the film a three on scale from one to six.
Rønning and Sandberg were nominated for an Oscar for their Kon-Tiki film. Their new Pirates film cost nearly NOK 2 billion, was a target of hackers and was delayed when producers at Disney weren’t satisfied with its script. The duo is splitting up after the four-year-long Pirates project, with Sandberg working on a film about polar explorer Roald Amundsen, while Rønning has been tied to a new project in Hollywood.