Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge Review

"PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES"..The villainous Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) pursues Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he searches for the trident used by Poseidon..Ph: Film Frame..©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

They say dead men tell no tales, for obvious reasons.

That being the case, it might be time for Captain Jack Sparrow to die in Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge.

We catch up with the now noticeably older sea dog in the middle of a literal bank heist.

Which wasn’t quite the plan everyone’s favourite pirate had in mind.

With his crew having mutinied after Jack’s latest epic fail, and without a pretty penny to his name, Cap’n Sparrow decides to trade in his magical compass for a bottle of rum.

As any self-respecting pirate would.

Only it turns out that doing this releases an old enemy from their nautical prison, and said foe wants nothing more than to exact revenge on our Jackie.

Cue another mystical, maritime mission into the unknown, as Captain Jack Sparrow goes in search of Poseidon’s trident to avoid becoming just another dead man.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is the fifth instalment in the Johnny Depp shaped Jack Sparrow franchise, and I’m afraid that time has caught up with both of them.

Looking markedly older and fuller of face, Depp has become a parody of the caricature he so artfully sketched all those moons ago – seemingly going through the motions of a character he used to give so much verve and wit to.

There comes an age in every man’s life where it’s time to hang up the guy liner… and fifty-something is a lot older than most guys manage.

Thankfully, the supporting cast and story-line are strong enough to just about hold your interest.

Kaya Scodelario is easily the best thing in Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, with her verve and scientific beliefs as Carina providing a welcome injection of fresh blood to Sparrow’s familiar idiosyncratic routine.

If only Golshifteh Farahani, who plays the other ‘witch’ in this film, was given nearly as much screen time.

Alas, she’s almost entirely wasted in a throwaway cameo that makes you wonder why they bothered to recruit such a talented actress for the role.

Javier Bardem is nigh on incomprehensible as the fly Spanish ‘Capitan Salazar’ in Jack’s ointment, as is any logic behind the creation of his skeleton crew.

And Geoffrey Rush, as well as a few other familiar faces from the past, pop up to tie off their pirate lives.

Which leaves us with Jack.

The most interesting Sparrow shaped segment of this fifth instalment is the cgi enhanced flashback to Jack’s younger days, when we catch a glimpse of how he became Captain of the Black Pearl.

That’s really the only interesting tale left to tell in this franchise now.

And if Disney want to keep this ship afloat, it’s the only course they should set sail for next time around.


Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

May 2017