Six years after the disappointing mess that was On Stranger Tides, Johnny Depp returns to his defining role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fifth film in the Pirates franchise. Despite many fans being skeptical about this new entry, excitement was still high to see one of Disney’s best return for another adventure.
The film starts with a young Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) searching for his dad, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). Upon finding the Flying Dutchman, the ship Will is cursed to, he tells his father of his plans to find the Trident of Poseidon, a piece of treasure that will break the curse of the Dutchman. Will is against the idea but Henry still sets out to find Jack Sparrow to help him find the treasure. This scene gave fans that little nostalgia feeling as we got to see a classic character return after ten years away from the films.
Skip forward nine years and Henry is working on a British Royal Navy warship, through this we meet our ghostly villain, Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem). He and his undead crew kill everyone on the ship except for Henry, allowing him to tell the tale and to find Jack as he continues his search for the trident. Salazar is fairly intimidating to begin with as we learn of his own agenda involving Jack but unfortunately he does decline as the movie goes on, but then so does the film itself.
After this we are reunited with Captain Jack and meet a new character in Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario). Jack and his crew attempt to rob a bank, now while incredibly silly as you would expect from a pirates film, it’s still a pretty entertaining sequence. The mission is botched and Jack loses his crew, to make matters worse he gets arrested and ends up in Prison with Carina. Both of them are sentenced to death but Henry gathers Jacks old crew for a rescue, they all manage to escape and set off to sea to find the trident. Again, we get another silly but entertaining sequence, however this sadly signifies the end of what is the films strongest act.
Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) has a run in with Captain Salazar and agrees to take him to Jack, in exchange, Salazar agrees to leave Barbossa’s ships alone. Salazar tells Barbossa the story of how Jack is the one who cursed him through a flashback that feels too long and includes a weird piece of GCI involving Johnny Depp’s face.
Meanwhile Jack, Henry and Carina continue their search, we get even more obvious hints that Henry and Carina will get together towards the end and some funny moments as everyone continues to believe Carina is a witch due to her own belief in science. Jack’s crew perform what has to be the fiftieth betrayal of the franchise when they find out the dead is after him and kick him, Carina and Henry off the ship.
Salazar finds them but they manage to escape by reaching an island as the dead cannot step foot on land. When they reach the island, this is where the movie takes a nosedive. For some reason the writers of this film thought that they would just add a random wedding scene in the there, that makes no sense and has no place whatsoever. Barbossa then appears from out of nowhere even though he was literally being held captive by Salazar, and then another betrayal takes place as Barbossa decides to help Jack instead. The only positive from this part of the film is that the Black Pearl finally gets released from the bottle Blackbeard put it in.
As they continue to look for the trident, Salazar tracks them down and a battle ensues which mostly consists of Johnny Depp screaming. The action isn’t terrible but it does leave a lot to be desired when you look back at previous films. Carina, using the stars, manages to locate the trident causing the dead to retreat but taking Henry in the process. The CGI takes a massive drop in quality from here on out and is worse than the effects used in the first film, 14 years ago. The crew head onto the island and figure out the puzzle that reveals the trident by separating the sea. A possessed Henry, from out of nowhere, then attacks Jack as Carina tries to get hold of the trident. Salazar removes himself from Henry once he gets hold of the trident and tries to kill Jack by…… swinging him around with water. Catrina and Henry realise they need to break the trident to break every curse at sea. Henry breaks it with his sword and all of the undead crew turn back to their original human states.
Barbossa’s crew lower the Pearls anchor to help them escape as the gap in the sea begins to close. Salazar manages to grab on as he still aims to kill Jack but Barbossa sacrifices himself in order to save Carina, to who he reveals is his daughter. It’s a shame the writers thought they needed to add this on so we would care more about a character who has been in every single film.
With the trident destroyed and every curse at sea broken, we see the Flying Dutchman reappear as Will, now a free man, rejoices with his son. We then get another piece of nostalgia as Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) appears over the horizon and runs towards Will. She may not say a single word but it was still a nice moment. Henry and Carina also get together as expected while Jack watches from afar before sailing off, leaving the franchise open for another possible sequel.
Despite all the negatives i’ve given, to be fair with Pirates 5, the majority of the jokes in it do in fact land and are actually pretty funny. It was good to see Captain Jack back as it was very enjoyable to watch the character all throughout the film even if he has become a bit of a parody of himself. It was a personal highlight to see another Skins actor in a big budget movie. This was made even better by the fact that Kaya Scodelario did a great job as the female lead.
I didn’t expect Pirates 5 to even come close to the original as the others have failed to do but i still found Salazar’s Revenge enjoyable and funny enough to give it a score of 6.