I was expecting to walk into an absolute mess of a film. The handful of previous Pirates of the Caribbean joints gave me no hope for this sequel. I genuinely cannot remember a single plot point from anything after the first film from this franchise.
Anyway, Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (or Dead Men Tell No Tales) is dope. It’s an enjoyable… no scratch that… it’s a very entertaining film. We’re living in a time where misery is king; Joy is frowned upon and therefore brainless summer blockbusters are ridiculed. I’m part of this horrible new reality, and I really wanted to hate Pirates 5.
The story here is more intriguing than it has any right to be. In fact, it has a much better story than anything the franchise has every produced. It’s essentially a ‘pirates hunt a long hidden treasure movie’, but there are thrilling chases, a really interesting feminist sub-plot and moments of real chilling darkness.
Johnny Depp’s career is in a very weird place. The bloke has sucked for the longest time and the man’s personal life hasn’t helped matters. However, I think his performance in Salazar’s Revenge is his soundest since Black Mass. I personally couldn’t help but link Jack Sparrow’s alcoholism, untrustworthiness and his questionable treatment of women to Depp himself. Fair? Probably not. But it made his performance really interesting for me.
But here is the thing – Brenton Thwaites is really bad in this film. This is tough to look past because he’s in almost every scene. And he’s nails-on-the-blackboard bad. He makes Orlando Bloom look like a BAFTA award winning actor. Kaya Scondelario isn’t enough to make up for Thwaites – she’s cool though.
It comes down to this: In a world where the Transformers and Fast and the Furious franchises exist, Pirates 5 should thrive. It’s an inoffensive, surprisingly straightforward summer blockbuster that may surprise you with how good it is.