If you’re still interested in hearing my thoughts, let me set the scene: Henry, Will Turner’s son, wants to free his father from the curse of the Flying Dutchman (see previous films) and calls upon Jack Sparrow for help. Together with witch (though just academically inclined) Carina they must find the Trident of Poseidon, which grants its possessor total control over the seas, before it falls into the hands of Captain Salazar, yet another one of Sparrow’s nemeses.
Highlight of the film, as always, is Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. He gets a grand entrance (albeit nothing can top his very first introduction in Curse of the Black Pearl) and the crazy spiel unfolds before our eyes. A ridiculous action chase sequence is an entertaining opener to Salazar’s Revenge. If you are immediately reminded of the first instalment I don’t blame you. Salazar’s Revenge does what The Force Awakens did so well, use the script of the beloved first one and change a few things around but keep the structure intact. Unfortunately for Salazar’s Revenge, its new characters are not remotely as interesting or captivating, so the film feels like a lukewarm infusion of the impeccably entertaining ride that was Curse of the Black Pearl. The lack of character evolution, especially in regards to Jack Sparrow, keeps Salazar’s Revenge from reaching any new heights. You feel you’ve seen all of this before, because you have. Only then it was fresh and entertaining. Now it’s like munching on stale biscuits.
The film looks great, the CGI is state of the art, but deep down it is missing a soul. Superficial beauty with no charm or personality. And the few scenes that were a hoot to watch lost their impact because I had seen them dozens of times in the trailers or the promo footage playing before 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2'.
None of this would matter as much if the characters were more interesting. I did not care about any of them. How is that even possible? Even Jack Sparrow. He is the same Jack we have seen in Curse of the Black Pearl and all subsequent films. He hasn’t evolved. While that might be entertaining to some, I can’t help but be bored. With some funny bits splashed here and there, Salazar’s Revenge still manages to entertain. Good action sequences, a few character highlights and a tongue in cheek approach help elevate the film.
If you can, stay for a post credits scene.
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