The end credits of Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge made me sad. Not because the film was over, let me assure you, about that I was absolutely elated. What made me sad was seeing the names of so many incredibly talented artists and craftsmen, whose beautiful artistry was wasted on this seemingly unsinkable turd of a franchise.
It is impossible not to be cynical about Salazar’s Revenge. The original trilogy came to a soggy conclusion ten years ago, only for it to be revived in 2011 with a dreadful, tacked on sequel – On Stranger Tides. However, that film inexplicably made over $1bn at the global box office, thus ensuring that further instalments would be on the horizon. But rather than craft a new adventure, what we have here is the hollow husk of Curse of the Black Pearl, rehashed and repurposed but without any of the fun.
Stepping into the roles of the beautiful but bland leading characters are Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario. Thwaites is Henry Turner, the son of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, a young man seeking to break the curse that keeps his father bound to the Flying Dutchman. Scodelario is Carina, an astronomer who believes there is a map in the stars that will lead to the trident of Poseidon, which she wants to find for…well…reasons.
Meanwhile, there is a ship full of undead Spanish navy officers led by Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazar, who are seeking revenge against the pirate (I wonder who that could be) who cursed them. Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) is still around doing pirate things, which is nice. David Wenham provides the film with the obligatory British Navy git who wants to kill all the pirates. And then of course there’s Captain Jack, swaggering in and out of the film like a booze-sodden parody of a formerly charming character.
There really is nothing to recommend about this film. It’s not funny, it’s not exciting, and it is not in any way entertaining. It is just more of the same convoluted and incoherent tosh that hampered the previous three sequels. The less said about the nonsensical plot machinations that free Salazar from his prison in the Devil’s Triangle the better. It doesn’t make a lick of sense.
On the plus side, the film does have zombie sharks. Oh and Paul McCartney is less shit than you’d expect. But that’s it.
Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario Director: Espen Sandberg & Joachim Rønning Writer: Jeff Nathanson Released By: Walt Disney Pictures Certificate: 12 Duration: 129 mins Release Date: 2nd Oct 2017