Pirates of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge Just Taps Into Collective Nostalgia
To be fair, most entered with no expectations and thus came out satisfied with what was offered.
A still from Johnny Depp-starrer 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Image: Youtube/Disney
In 2003, Disney debuted a fictitious sea-world based on a theme-park ride, and that one film went on to become one the most loved and followed franchises for the studio. After three successful films, the studio decided to end it with a fourth, critically bashed instalment, On Stranger Tides. However, the ardent fans hadn't had enough and it was their belief that helped in reviving the franchise after six long years.
Titled Salazar Revenge for half of the world and Dead Men Tell No Tale for the rest, the film is more like an ode to the fans for retaining their hopes in a dead franchise.
With Johnny Depp donning Captain Jack Sparrow's hat again, the film revolves around his drunken sloppy self, less than the other films.
This time, the story has Sparrow dealing with bad luck on the land, as he hopes to command his precious Black Pearl again. Sparrow begins the film attempting a heist, and subsequently facing imminent execution at the hands of Royal Army. And once again, makes acquaintance of two straight-arrow youngsters.
This time, his sidekicks are Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), son of the first trilogy’s Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley); and Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a defiant, proto-feminist astronomer accused of witchcraft. That's about it for the nostalgia from the first trilogy. The antagonist here is Salazar, a Spanish Admiral, who was sent to cursed Devil's Trap by a young Sparrow and has now returned as death for all Pirates and in particular, for Sparrow. All the events make everybody set sail for a quest for their own reason. A quest to find Trident of Poseidon, as the one who has it wields the power of the sea.
Johnny Depp's performance is no better or worse than the previous outings however, the focus on his swag and sarcasm is way less. The drunk humour is present but maybe, because of his off-screen image, one doesn't feel like smiling at his idiosyncrasy. The genius anarchic approach to Sparrow feels a bit old hat, like a repeated classic joke that has lost its charm but not the value.
However, few scenes in the film are well staged and entertaining keeping the hopes of the fans alive. The film is a visual spectacle and the climax scenes keep you hooked till the end. Also, the moments film steal in between brings a nostalgic smile to the face.
But, rarely is one ever swept up in the pirate fantasy that used to be the franchise’s purpose (at least in the first two films). Although, no one expected a brilliant plot built on luscious humour and growly emotion or horrific sequences from the film. To be fair, most entered with no expectations and thus came out satisfied with what was offered. After all, we knew what we are getting when we boarded this ship.
Despite its limping irregularities and average performances by all actors, this instalment survives on familiar notes to carry on its predecessors' success and thus, doesn't disappoint the fans.
The film ends with hope again, and looking at the current way the things with the franchise are proceeding, Disney needs to bring in plotline and decorate it with a better case of seaworthiness, in order to reach the same level it set in 2003 with Curse of The Black Pearl. A tad better than the last two outings, this instalment lies someplace in middle.
Pirates of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge gets cheers of recognition and nothing else.
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