Spanning well over a decade the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film series is showing no signs of sinking anytime soon. Whilst it’s widely accepted that the quality of the films have declined with each sequel the box office numbers show just how successful these films have been regardless. So while fans weren’t crying out for another sequel it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the fifth installment ‘Salazar’s Revenge’ is now docking in cinemas.
Much like the popularity of the films, lead actor Johnny Depp has experienced a lull in terms of fan affection. Despite this he returns to front the film as Captain Jack Sparrow once more. Arguably the role he’s most known for and certainly the one he has the most experience with so surely this should have worked in the films favour. However his performance, whilst still good and perfectly passable, seems less natural this time around. Orlando Bloom aside, this is the same for the returning cast as a whole though. Bloom still manages to perform poorly despite his limited screen time. Much to my surprise I thought the newbies to the franchise, Brenton Thwaites & Kaya Scodelario, worked quite well. They offer a refreshing change of pace from the tired Will Turner/Elizabeth Swann narrative. There are a couple of moments that this new pair venture into similar territory but I found them effortlessly more watchable than the previous performers. The big casting news for this swashbuckling installment was Javier Bardem as the titular villian. He’s suitably creepy for the role and makes for a fine adversary. The design of his character was slightly questionable but he overcomes this with a couple of delightfully sinister scenes. He’s played better villains before and his performance is nothing remarkable but he was a welcome addition to the film.
If you’ve seen any of the previous ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films the storyline won’t come as any great shock. Multiple crews, one of which being a hoard of ghost pirates, are after a mythical treasure of the ocean. Narratively speaking, it’s waters well charted for the series which some may find tiresome. However, it succeeds in being more succinct than it’s predecessors being the shortest of the films to date. Although saying that there are a couple of moments in which you do feel the films length. What I did really appreciate though was the creativity displayed within the narrative. There are a number of really fun & inventive sequences throughout the story, the highlight being a scene featuring some ghoulish looking sharks. The opening scenes could have been lifted straight out of a ‘Fast & Furious’ film too, but if current blockbuster trends are anything to go by this can only have been a good move. Of course all of this fantasy action is set to the wonderful ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ music which five films in style hasn’t lost it’s effect, making even the most stubborn of landlubbers desire the pirates life!
‘Salazar’s Revenge’ is far from a hidden treasure amongst the cinematic shores. The performances of the returning cast can’t match their previous highs and the overall story is a simple retread of tales we’ve seen before. However the whole adventure is still a good time. The variety of action sequences never failed to entertain and the new cast members present fresh characters, often better than those coming before them in similar roles. It’s shorter running time works tremendously to it’s advantage which should keep audiences attention, certainly more so than many of the 2017 blockbusters we’ve seen so far!
Rating – 7/10
Question: How would you rank the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean films’?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.