Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge – A Dull Montage of its Predecessors
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales revolves around three characters. Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) who is hell-bent of breaking his father’s curse, Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), an astronomer who sets out to retrace her father’s footsteps in order to relive his legacy and Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem), a cursed dead man with a crew determined to seek revenge on a young lad who once fooled them. As is always, the path of these three characters lead right up to Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Here on, the film follows a run-of-the-mill cat and mouse chase between these characters as their paths cross.
As the fifth installment in this renowned franchise, the film disappointingly treads around familiar territories. Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have merely put together a montage of all other installments barring a few interesting sequences. Salazar’s back-story resembles a fairy-tale you read to a five year old. It is far too amateur to even be considered mediocre.
After the first fifteen minutes, the film never grows on you due to the lack of an element of surprise. By the interval, you will know exactly how the rest of the story is going to pan out. So, there is never a cleverly executed plot twist in sight till the very end.
The film further looses steam in the second half. Barring the underwater sequence, there is very little to keep you on the edge of your seat. The story takes an expected turn and apes whatever it has done in its previous installments. From the resurrection of the Black Pearl to their hunt for Poseidon’s Trident, everything looks plastered and takes an inorganic route. It’s as though the makers of this installment wanted to stage a reunion very desperately. If you plan a re-union, the only way to make it look natural is to work on a smart and surprising unraveling in the screenplay, but all this narrative ever does is borrow the already established route in the first half and switches characters to make it fit. The writers could’ve worked on an original perspective.
To be honest, the lags and the predictable turn of events in the fifth installment makes you hope that the franchise marks a graceful exit right here and right now. Any further proceedings will only make the presence of franchise bait more prevalent.
As Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp delivers exactly what is expected of him, nothing more and nothing less. This is a tad disappointing. His sarcasm, though amusing has become quite familiar by now. A little more experimentation would have enlivened his character arc. As Armando Salazar, Javier Bardem never intimidates you. All through the film, he displays a tinge of hesitance which results in him holding back. Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario are made to look like carbon copies of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, an imaginative character build up would’ve been more interesting.
There are absolutely no complains as far as the CGI is concerned. The glorious visuals of the film will be justified only if you witness it’s magnanimity in IMAX. The underwater sequence especially, is wonderfully executed. In fact, one of the main reasons the film works in parts is thanks to the ability of the intriguing visuals to immerse the audiences and take them on an adventurous ride.
Taking a cue from the other installments, the fifth installment too has great music. Jack Sparrow’s sarcasm hits deeper with every comical sound that accompanies it. The background music plays out refreshingly well even in the bank robbery sequence. Music director Geoff Zanelli has carefully carried on the tradition of presenting this franchise with a generous dose of fine music.
Overall, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales goes on to prove that the charm of this franchise is gradually fading away. The familiarity in this film is never nostalgic; it is just predictable and dull.