The fifth and latest in the Pirates franchise coming six years after the last is also the shortest in terms of running time.  It’s back to the familiar premise as the perpetually sozzled—obviously on Caribbean rum—Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johny Depp, on familiar territory) is shown botching up a bank robbery attempt : he’s found asleep at the job with somebody’s wife.

Henry (Brenton Thwaites) is in a frantic race to save his father Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) by locating the fabled and elusive Trident of Poseidon and needs Jack’s help.  The latter is hounded by his old enemy, the ghost pirate Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his band.

Buried at the bottom of the ocean and guaranteed to grant total power over the seas to whosoever possesses the mythical Trident, this fifth installment of Pirates is a merry-go-round with pirates, ghost pirates and ex-pirates, all in a mad scramble to get at the bottom of it, literally.  The only person who can help Jack to locate the artifact is astronomer Carina (Kaya Scodelario).

The first in the franchise not to be filmed in the Caribbean (shot largely in Australia), Salazar’s Revenge is a far cry from the earlier 2003 ‘The Curse of the Black Pearl’. Though the special effects are commendable—especially the ones involving Salazar’s band of ghost pirates—the rest of the CGI is predicable and fails to impress.

Norwegian directors Ronning and Sandberg cannot be faulted. With a sea-faring story in the background, they are on familiar territory but the convoluted and formulaic plot holds them back against doing only so much and no more. In the absence of regular composers Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt, Geoff Zanelli has orchestrated a lively background score.

Johnny Depp looks jaded from performing encores of the same role.  As Salazar, the Spaniard Javier Bardem (the villain in Bond’s ‘Skyfall’) impresses, but is not enough to take his revenge to greater heights.


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