PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE
Jack in action
RELEASED OUT NOW! 12A | 129 minutes Directors Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg Cast Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario
There’s a scene in Salazar’s Revenge in which a rum-addled Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) falls asleep standing up while the film’s McGuffin is explained to him. “I’m so sorry, were you still talking?” he slurs. Chances are, audiences know the feeling. Five films in, the Pirates Of The Caribbean formula’s creakier than a pirate’s peg-leg, but – avast! shiver me timbers! – with their slapstick set-pieces and buoyant sense of fun, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg have helped old Jack reclaim that most elusive of treasures: his mojo.
Six years after the watereddown offerings of On Stranger Tides (all but ignored here), Jack battles zombified pirate-hunter Captain Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem). Branded the “butcher of the sea”, Salazar once faced Jack and lost, only to become an immortal scourge. Hellbent on revenge, he commands a gruesome crew, a trio of pet sharks and an impressive ship with a unique ability to demolish smaller vessels.
Meanwhile, new kids Henry (Brenton Thwaites) and Carina (Kaya Scodelario) are on a quest to find Poseidon’s trident. While their subplot is the film’s weakest element, Rønning and Sandberg excel at finding fresh hooks for their pirates. The opening bank robbery set-piece is a doozy and the gags, when they land, are a hoot – particularly an amusing misunderstanding of the word “horology”. Critically, the duo understand that the Pirates franchise is all about humour-laced spectacle and, while Salazar’s Revenge is far from perfect, it has that by the boatload. Welcome back, Jack.
In the guillotine scene, the two heads in the basket were modelled on directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg.
What if this is Grindelwald in disguise...?