More of the same as Johnny Depp returns for a fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) – Film Review

pirates of the caribbean salazar's revenge film poster

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge

I liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean film when it first came out in 2003. It was an entertaining family film if a little over long at 142 minutes and I felt it had one action sequence too many towards the end.

Subsequent films have struggled to live up to the first but all of them have had a running theme of sword-based action, some zingy one-liners, double crosses, and a smattering of guest appearances.

The fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series is also the shortest one, weighing in at just over two hours but there doesn’t appear to have been much dilution of what is actually another unnecessarily hackneyed and overly dense plot.

Basically, everyone is after something that will give them what they want but for their own reasons and they aren’t afraid to do what it takes to achieve it.

Cue the usual Pirates stuff but the set pieces, though interesting, don’t seem very exciting, the dialogue is riper than I recall and you can’t help but feel it’s a rehash of stuff you’ve seen before.

For example, there must have been a focus group during the development of this film that demanded additional protagonists to match the feisty Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner from the original film in the series – The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Pirates of the Caribbean goes back to basics but it’s a dull copy of The Curse of the Black Pearl

Salazar’s Revenge in fact gives us Henry Turner, son of Will, played by Brenton Thwaites (Gods of Egypt) and Carina Smith, an astronomer, played by Kaya Scodelario (Maze Runner).

Scodelario puts in a good performance as the girl with the map that will lead everyone towards Poseidon’s Trident, while Geoffrey Rush is always good value in his role as Captain Barbosa.

It’s just a pity that Thwaites isn’t given much to do as Henry Turner while Johnny Depp shamelessly hams it up like a Jack Sparrow impersonator while I thought Javier Bardem was never as good as Rush’s Barbosa nor Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones from other films in the series.

What a waste of talent, then, as even the cameos disappointed – appearing to disjoint the film.

Although Salazar’s Revenge (also known as Dead Men Tell No Tales in other countries – a title that makes more sense) may be the last of the series it’s such a money spinner that I wouldn’t be surprised to see more forthcoming despite a decidedly dull finale lifted only slightly by a slightly emotional final action set piece.

Just hang around to the end of the credits and decide for yourself…

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (12A; moderate fantasy action violence; 128 minutes)

Summary: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE is a fantasy action film in which Poseidon’s trident is sought in order to break a curse.

My Rating: ** (Watch The Curse of the Black Pearl instead)