There are some movies that are so strong, it stands to reason that there should be a sequel. It can mean more money for all involved, nostalgic satisfaction for fans, and, if done well, a continuation of a story and an art form that is complex, beautiful, or chilling.
Then there are some movies that lose all magic after being revived again, and again, and again, wrung clean of every bit of promise or originality they once had.
Pirates of the Caribbean is, sadly, in the latter category. The debut film was iconic; it featured a talented cast, likable characters, gorgeous costuming, and fantastic world-building. Still, for all of its merits, the consecutive second, third, fourth, and now fifth film destroyed all of the sparkle the franchise once had.
I would rather paint my fingernails yellow and let them grow out, chipped and ragged, than watch this fifth installment. I would rather eat only peel-apart cheese sticks for a week straight. And, incidentally, I would rather watch any of these films, which also should never exist:
1. Finding Marlin: a heartwarming tale of redemption in which Nemo and Dory search halfheartedly for Nemo’s dad, but they’re so tired of searching and swimming that they give up halfway through.
2. Mean Girls 3: The difference between Mean Girls and Mean Girls 2 has been aptly compared to the Obama vs. Trump administration. Still, I would rather watch a weak third installment without the original cast that debuts on Disney channel than watch Pirates of the Caribbean 5.
3. Step Up…4? 5?: I don’t even know what number we’re on, but I would rather watch a mediocre new dance movie than another Pirates movie.
4. Dirty Grandpa 2: The first film was the least funny movie I have ever seen in my life, but I would struggle through a sequel (without any snacks, and with Billy Bob Thornton instead of Zac Efron) before watching the new Pirates film.
5. Cat in the Hat 2: My sister says this is the worst movie in the entire world, but I would rather watch both the first and the nonexistent second than the new Pirates movie.
6. Eragon 2: The Eragon film took my nerdy, wholesome, dragon-obsessed childhood and stomped on it with low-budget special effects, poor writing, and overall one of the worst book-to-movie adaptations that has ever been attempted.
7. Singin’ in the Snow: a vibrant musical re-make of Singin in the Rain with a cast that cannot sing, dance, nor act, with the plot of Frozen.
8. Spiderman 3: A Continuation: an add-on to the third and worst Spiderman film, featuring the same plot, actors, and “dark” Peter Parker that tries super hard to be edgy but comes across more sad-adult-man-missed-his-teenage-emo-phase-and-found-this-suit-at-Hot-Topic.
9. LaLa Land 2: the two protagonists engage in an affair in the sequel, which is unironically cast with Shia Lebeauf and Khloe Kardashian.
Do less, Pirates.