I was a massive fan of the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. To the point where I still go to see the newer ones despite them not being that great. I’ve watched On Stranger Tides* at least four times and I still have no idea what happened in that movie. But anyway, I watched Salazar’s Revenge because I had the tiniest amount of hope that it would be good. And it wasn’t.
Okay let’s get the elephant in the room over and done with first. Johnny Depp is a giant douche, I think we can all agree on that. I actually saw a few people say the only reason he did this movie was to pay lawyer fees and I genuinely wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case.
Johnny Depp made Jack Sparrow the character that he is. But in Salazar’s Revenge his acting was downright awful. He just wasn’t Jack. He was some Hollywood actor trying to be Jack and failing at it. I think Disney could have gotten one of the Jack character actors from the Disney parks and they would have done a better job in this movie than Johnny Depp.
The one thing that really stood out to me is how confusing the overall timeline is in this movie series. I realised that Pirates of the Caribbean being a pretty awful adventure series I shouldn’t pay much attention to its something I noticed. The problem is it doesn’t feel like a huge amount of time has passed between At World’s End and the two newer movies. However because we know Will’s son is 19 we can assume 20 years have passed. But it doesn’t feel like it has.
Compared to other movies in the series Salazar’s Revenge does a terrible job of making you believe time has passed. In Dead Man’s Chest the pirates made a few comments to Norrington about hurricanes and other things that had happened between it and The Curse of the Black Pearl. It was just a few little details but it did make a different. You also have the fact that the actors don’t look like they have aged at all. Kevin McNally especially looks exactly like he did in Black Pearl.
This makes the premise of the whole film unbelievable because they are telling us that time passed and a whole bunch of stuff has happened during that time. In reality though you could quite easily think it had only been a few months since the events of On Stranger Tides.
This is especially problematic when you find out Barbossa had a daughter. Also can we just talk about how unbelievable it is that Barbossa has a kid. I mean really. This is the bad guy from the first movie. Okay so his intentions weren’t all that bad but his actions were. Are we really supposed to believe that he went from half dead skeleton pirate to someone who would want to be a parent. All in just a few years.
All Salazar’s Revenge did to Barbossa was turn a genuinely interesting character in into nothing more than a sad old mad. And that’s sad because in Curse of the Black Pearl he was a really good bad guy. He wasn’t evil, he had an end goal and was working towards that. In turn this made him interesting for the audience. Okay yeah but he died at the end and still miraculously came back in At World’s End but that movie also featured a half octopus half man and a giant squid so one person coming back from the dead isn’t so unbelievable.
There is a really great video on YouTube which explains why Black Pearl was so enjoyable, and why the other movies never quite managed to achieve that. Black Pearl is Will and Elizabeth’s story. Jack is sort of just there too. The rest of the films in this franchise are too skewed towards Jack’s story. You can sort of tell the film makers have tried to go back and replicate the first movie. You have the knock off versions of Will and Elizabeth, and you have a cursed ship and crew. But even though there are elements of the first movie it never quite manages to be as good.
The fact is this is a crappy adventure movie. The story doesn’t make sense, some of the acting is bad, some parts have been edited weird. I wouldn’t recommend watching Salazar’s Revenge/ Dead Men Tell No Tales, unless you’re like me and enjoy bad movies.