Directed by: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Geoffrey Rush
Synopsis: Ship and crewless, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) teams with Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) to hunt down a cure for the latter’s cursed father; Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner. Hot on their tail, undead anti-pirate Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) seeks vengeance on Sparrow for his past wrongdoings, leaving a path of death behind him on his single-minded quest.
Salazar’s Revenge (known outside of Europe as Dead Men Tell No Tales) is the most streamlined of the Pirates series, and yet it’s somehow still overstuffed, and underdeveloped. The pros and cons of the film here are much the same as they were with its predecessors. Pro: Swashbuckling pirates. Con: Nonsensical plot. Pro: A great villain. Con: Poor heroes.
Javier Bardem’s titular revenge seeker is a welcome addition, holding up his end of the bargain as a fun antagonist (even if his dialogue is unintelligible at times). The new protagonists, however, prove to be little more than a pauper’s version of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Brenton Thwaites (as Henry Turner) manages the impressive feat of being even blander than Orlando Bloom. Kaya Scodelario fares better as Carina, but her character pairing with Henry never has the same zip as that of Turner and Swann before them. Depp, meanwhile, is non-offensive as Jack Sparrow. Some might find his schtick annoying by now, I just find that it washes straight over with indifference.
Which is something that it shares in common with the general feeling of apathy I had towards almost the entire movie. It’s just not all that interesting anymore. There’s promise, through gorgeous, algae soaked sets, glimpses of beautiful cinematography and a heartfelt ending. But it always, without fail, reverts to dodgy dialogue and messy, over the top, CGI action.
It’s a tired franchise, and it’s about ready to be put out to pasture.
Rating (out of 5):