Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Salazar’s Revenge review

A swash-buckler of a family fare!

CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp), sodden with drink more than saltwater, has to fight off a ghostly Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) to stay alive, in this fifth instalment of the thrilling Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

The Spanish captain had been trapped in the Devil’s Triangle until silly Jack trades his magical compass for a bottle. That releases Salazar from his ghostly form, into flesh. Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) also wants Jack, and then there is the British Navy in pursuit of the pirates.

To beat his foe or foes, Jack has to find the trident of Poseiden, and does so with the help of young British Navy sailor Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), and astronomer-horologist Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario).

Young Henry is on a quest to lift the curse that forces his dad (Orlando Bloom) to be the Captain of The Flying Dutchman for all of eternity. He needs the trident to do that. The lovely Carina also has her own reasons to find that trident. They need Jack and his magical compass to do that.

Ah, that trident of Poseidon gives the owner power over the seas.

The tale has flashbacks to egg your memory of who’s who and what happened in Pirates 1 to 4. It’s easy to follow, though. A “is it really him?” moment comes when Anthony De La Torre appears as a teenage Jack, and he’s quite the double!

Cameos come in megastar bursts like Paul McCartney as Jack’s uncle, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly as Will and Elizabeth.

The dialogue is filled with funny one-liners while the action sequences are not too bad. In fact, the choreography behind the bank heist and Jack’s impending public execution is well-timed.

In the midst of the swash-buckling adventure comes magic, aided in part by sea-witch Shansa (played winningly by Golshifteh Farahani). Of course, there is the final scene, with the trident of Poseiden that is awesome to watch.

All that fun on the high seas is abetted by IMAX, for sure — from ghostly ships and ghostly pirates to skeletal fish, headless people and the parting of the sea. But, a few times, you wonder if it was really necessary, especially when closeups of actors start to look like disembodied heads talking!

Sometimes, the character action sequences come across as Laurel and Hardy gimmicks, and the repartee reminiscent of Three Stooges.

But it’s family fare, and with no, thankfully, cliffhanger in this movie, you can just enjoy it for the fun watch it surely is for many. Please stay for the credits, lest you miss out on a final scene.

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