(Picture from http://www.theartsshelf.com)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the black pearl was a breath of fresh air to summer blockbuster endless conveyor belt. I remember seeing it twice and having none of its impact lessened by the second viewing. The visual effects were new and exciting, set pieces were elaborately carried out to perfection and the cast were either talented veterans or young up and comers riding on other successful movies. I’ve got reign myself in so not to continue to gush about the first movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise because that’s not what this article is a about.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s revenge or Dead men tell no tales as it is called in the States, is deader in the water than the zombified sharks. Although Salazar’s Revenge is not a spectacle without a few good points, staying away from spoiler territory, the movies main antagonist Salazar (played by the not surprisingly brilliant Javier Bardem) lights up the screen every time he appears. The CGI effects used to create his ghostly appearance is on a par with Geoffrey Rush’s skeletal visage in Curse of the black pearl. But whenever Bardem brings cinematic ‘light’, two characters in particular bring such a dreary lack of chemistry to the screen that I am pretty sure they are an actual black hole that devours anything remotely fun. Henry Turner and Carina Smith (played by Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario respectively……..actually, maybe not that respectively) are the most unwatchable coupling I’ve seen in a long time. When you find yourself missing Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s wooden lovers of the first three films, and that isn’t something anyone should have to say, it’s a bad freaking sign. Their on screen presence causes a rollercoaster effect that isn’t the intentional fun kind. Lows of extreme boredom listening to a horrible mix of flirty exposition is only alleviated when Salazar hobbles around spitting ghost rage all over the screen.
If you are thinking there is something missing from this review, you’d be right but that’s because Johnny Depp’s usually central to the franchise Captain Jack Sparrow, is almost completely lost in the boredom. Sleepwalking his way through uninspired stunts and spewing out extremely lazy jokes that I’m pretty sure we’ve heard before. When the highlight of said jokes is mistaking a horologist with a whore…ologist? Then things are really bad. It is apparent that Jack Sparrow is the franchises problems and decline made flesh. What used to be a swashbuckling rouge, charming, funny and would save the day in a most ingenious way, is now the bastard child of cutthroat island and a Norman Wisdom film (sigh…look it up its old) and not one of the good ones.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is a frustrating, boring, by the numbers that were set by the previous movies in the quintriology (shut up spellcheck, I know that’s not a word).
This is a Dead tale that really did not need to be told…..that would have worked if we had the American title. Films bad okay. Go away now.