Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Salazar's Revenge
"Visually the film excels. There are scenes that lavish the mind's eye"

What began as a ride in a Disney adventure park continues as a lucrative movie franchise, starring an impersonation of Johnny Depp playing Keith Richards. What could be more fake? What could be more absurd? Apologists for Hollywood's obsession with blockbusters shrink into silence when confronted with a pitch as succulent as "chased by the dead on a ship in a bottle".

The plot has drifted so far away from the beaten bodies of captured sailors that explanation drowns in its own faeces. A boy throws himself into the sea off a rowboat and lands fathoms deep on the deck of Salazar's sunken galleon, crewed by ghosts and cursed to remain forever in a state of decayed limbo. The boy meets his barnacled dad (Orlando Bloom) and tells him he will search the world for the trident of Poseidon, whatever that may be, which has the power to break the curse.

Copy picture

That's for starters.

What follows peels credibility off the walls of acceptance. Jack Sparrow (Depp on auto pirate) is in jail, an alcoholic sodden with wasted promise. The boy grows up into a good looking young man (Brenton Thwaites) who falls for a scientist's daughter (Kaya Scodelario), damned as a witch, one bound from the gallows.

In the midst of this madness is Sparrow's crew, Salazar's (Javier Bardem) ghost ship, one legged Capt Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) who has taken the lead in the skull and crossbones race for supremacy of the sea and the British navy, commanded by a stuck up toff with the blood of the Empire coursing through his veins. They chase each other like Tom & Jerry squared and survive adventures that would cut down a brigade of Guards. Nothing is too impossible, nothing too dangerous. Whatever the script scribe (Jeff Nathanson) tosses into the air directors Joachim Renning and Espen Sandberg catch and run with it.

Visually the film excels. There are scenes that lavish the mind's eye. There are others that take special effects into fresh pastures, except these pastures are dark and drenched, moon years from Capt Hook and Long John Silver.

There are no rules of right, no rules of wrong, simply a young man's pledge to a ghost and a young woman's belief in the stars. Grinning inanely and desperately trying to keep up is the once supreme leader of the tearaway kingdom, Sparrow by name, flighty by nature. Exhausted by expectation he can only stagger through to the credits, his reputation in tatters.

Reviewed on: 25 May 2017
Share this with others on...
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge packshot
Sparrow is drunk. Salazar is dead. Barbossa takes charge. The young ones are searching for the trident of Poseidon. There's a lot of water. And magic. If you wait long enough you might glimpse Keira Knightley running.
Amazon link

Director: Joachim Renning, Espen Sandberg

Writer: Jeff Nathanson

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, David Wenham, Kevin McNally, Goishifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, Orlando Bloom

Year: 2017

Runtime: 129 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: USA


Search database: