By Adam Ray Palmer
It’s been a few weeks now since I last jotted down some thoughts about a film. Lucky enough for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, this is the chosen comeback review.
Actually, it may not be so lucky if I’m honest; there’s a few things I need to point out!
Salazar’s Revenge follows two young (and new) characters in Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) and Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) who are both treasure seekers for different reasons. Both must form an alliance with a seemingly lot more drunk and crude Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) to get what they want. Henry wants to free his father William (Orlando Bloom) from a captain’s curse and astronomer Carina decides to help out Henry to get away from the town that thinks she’s a witch.
However, not only are they being hunted by the Royal Navy -- who wants all three of them to hang -- but also by a more menacing crew of Spanish ghost sailors who were condemned to die because of a young Sparrow. The Spanish ghost captain, Salazar (Javier Bardem), wants to find and kill Jack, but he can't step on land. So, Salazar allows Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) to help him track down Sparrow -- and the Trident.
Are you still with me? Great. It all sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? Wrong. The narrative is detailed and twisting, but it takes around 45 minutes to kick-start; meaning a rushed middle sequence. Plus, the two new young guns are so tedious on the eyes. I thought the most wooden subjects I would see in the film would be the ships, sadly not. I’m a big fan of Kaya usually, but I think the money must have gone to her head here!
Even my main man Johnny didn’t quite do it for me. He seems to have somehow became a parody of his own character?! Depp seems extremely rusty. I think, like always, Geoffrey Rush is the scene stealer. His Barbossa is one of the best things in each of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Oh, and don’t get me started on the pointless Macca cameo!
When this franchise wants to get things right, it really excels. But it has become too formulaic, too convoluted and especially with this film, way too convenient in the narrative. The box office receipts suggest otherwise, but please let this movie show that some franchises just need to end gracefully.
Cineroom’s Rating: 2.5 Stars
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is out now in cinemas worldwide – certificate 12A