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The Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise has been running for five films, and while it may or may not be over now, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a good place to wrap up the franchise. Storylines are wrapped with no obvious future direction, so if this is the end, then it's the right time to look back on the franchise as a whole.
The first film surprised everybody with just how damn good it really was, and while none of the sequels have quite lived up to the magic of the original, there is one thing that we can agree that every film provided: some great swashbuckling action. Every film has at least one great action sequence that's worth seeing. Here they are, the most badass moments from each of the five Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The battle at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is absolutely massive, combining ship-to-ship combat and multiple sword fights going on all at once. The highlight of the entire battle, however, has to be the random wedding that takes place in the middle of it. Will and Elizabeth finally get over themselves and admit that they still love each other. Knowing that either of them could die at any moment, they ask Barbossa, as a ship's captain, to marry them. While there is certainly humor in the juxtaposition, the moment is played entirely straight. The fight around them is real, but they know they need to do this in case it becomes too late.
Jack Escapes the King of England
Jack's best "escape" may really be the one at the beginning of the first films, but the actual escape portion is fairly brief. On Stranger Tides was clearly trying to remind fans of that, however, when the first big action beat in that film saw Jack Sparrow escaping from the King of England, The sequence reminds us how smart Jack Sparrow really is, as he plans out the bits of the escape early, waiting to trigger everything until the opportune moment. A brief Judy Dench cameo only adds to this great chase that includes every manner of locomotion possible.
The Rescue of Jack Sparrow
Dead Men Tell No Tales is a movie with problems, but none of them are with the film's opening action. One of two great action sequences happens in the first act, when Henry Turner hires Jack's former crew to rescues both Jack and Carina from execution. What transpires is a sword fight on many fronts, while Jack Sparrow is saved from beheading thanks to centripetal acceleration. We get to see Gibbs in a classic pirate sword fight, something we never got enough of in previous films, and Jack has to take a back seat and let others do the fighting.
The Three-Way Sword Fight
While not the best sword fight in the franchise, the three-way battle between Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Norrington is still one worth mentioning. Each of the three is out for themselves, and so they always have to watch out for the other two. There are so great moments of sword fighting style when the battle begins on the beach. Things get a little silly when the fight moves to a waterwheel that begins rolling downhill, but even then the fight has some great moments. The upper hand is traded back and forth multiple times which keeps the audience guessing about who will come out on top, which is always a welcome part of any action scene.
Jack Sparrow vs. Will Turner
I'm a sucker for a great sword fight, and the greatest sword fight in Pirates of the Caribbean is the first one we ever see. Will Turner hates pirates, so when he finds one in his blacksmith shop, he aims to kill it. This is one of the greatest film sword fights ever put to film. It has style, action and banter, everything a great sword fight requires. The fight moves from the ground to the rafters, but it never feels silly. We also learn a great deal about both characters throughout the fight, making it a key moment in the entire film.