RATING: 2.5 out 5
With the shitload of money the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise keeps on churning out with each new installment, it was inevitable that there’d be another Jack Sparrow adventure coming sooner or later. I might be wrong but I don’t think anyone really asked for another “Pirates” movie. You’ll never hear someone blurt out in the middle of a drinking session, “Pare, alam mo anong okay? Mag eyeliner ulit si Johnny Depp tapos maglabas pa sila ng isa pang Pirates of the Caribbean” unless it’s coming from a 13-year old girl who has a crush on Johnny Depp o yung barkada mong may tinatagong hidden desire kay Jack Sparrow (Kailangan niyong pag-usapan yan!) But it’s also one of those franchises where you go, “Ah maglalabas sila ng isa pa? Pwede rin naman nag enjoy naman ako dun sa mga dati.”
So far, the franchise helmed by Johnny Depp has given us one good movie (Part I) and three mediocre ones (all the rest). So how did “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge” (or “Dead Men Tell No Tales” as it is known in the US market) fare? Should Captain Jack retire and sail into the horizon?
In “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge”, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) sets out on a quest to find the Trident of Poseidon, which according to legend, will break the curse that has plagued his father Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). But in order to do so, he must forge an uneasy alliance with the fabled notorious pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a beautiful and brilliant astronomer who is out to discover the identity of the father she never knew. Making things more complicated for the trio is the undead Spanish Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) that’s pursuing Jack Sparrow.
If it all sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it’s undeniably reminiscent of the plot of the “The Curse of the Black Pearl” which was the first and most critically-acclaimed installment in the franchise. “Salazar’s Revenge” offers the same kind of adventure that fans have loved in the past but with a few added kinks (Shark zombies! P %^$^ina may shark zombies dito!). Isipin mo yung paborito mong adobo pero iba ang nagluto. Ganun pa rin ang lasa pero may nag-iba ng konti kasi dinagdagan ng gata. (Hindi ako marunong magluto so di ko alam kung may sense yang sinabi ko.) While that will be enough for the movie to do well in the box-office, it doesn’t really do anything to improve on the previous “Pirates” movies.
Sadly, “Salazar’s Revenge” suffers from the same problems that has plagued the past movies. Although the plot is less convoluted this time around, it still struggles to fit in too many elements into the story that the audience becomes unsure which one to focus on. Some plot points (won’t say which one baka sabihin niyo spoiler e) is dropped in the middle of the movie unceremoniously that it feels contrived instead of it having the desired emotional effect.
But as with any “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, you can always count on the charm of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow to sustain the movie when it’s going through doldrums. But what I don’t particularly like is when these movies depict him as too much of a bumbling idiot. I get that that’s part of his character pero minsan sobra e. There’s a scene in the movie where Henry finds him inexplicably without his pants on. Kung bakit, hindi ko alam. Pero walang point e. But when he’s cunning, charming, and confident, Jack Sparrow is at his best. “The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “On Stranger Tides” despite all its faults actually nailed the right balance of funny slapstick comedy and high-seas action.
Academy Award Winner Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar has moments of brilliance but the role doesn’t really give him to much to do with his character. Geoffrey Rush returning as Captain Hector Barbossa is great in his role as always (despite limited screen-time) and serves as the movie’s source for its emotional moments. I’m actually of the belief that a major part of the success of the franchise is due to Rush’s performance as Captain Barbossa. Kahit may Davy Jones at Salazar pa, he still serves as the perfect foil to Depp’s Sparrow.
It’s been said that “Salazar’s Revenge” is the final movie in the franchise. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen. But Johnny Depp is getting up there in age and he can only play the role of Jack Sparrow for so long until he’s too old for it. Along with Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, it’s hard to imagine anyone taking on the iconic role of the legendary pirate.
That’s why if they decide to continue with the franchise, one road producer Jerry Bruckheimer can take is to tell the story of a young Jack Sparrow the same way “Star Wars” is doing for Han Solo. In my opinion, the best part of “Salazar’s Revenge” is actually when Captain Salazar narrates to Barbossa how his feud with a young Jack Sparrow came about a dozen or so years before. It shows how “Jack” came to be known as THE Captain Jack Sparrow we all have come to know. Despite this being his fifth outing, there’s so much to his background that audiences still don’t know yet. And to be honest, audiences might be hungrier to know more about his checkered past than to watch another rehashed adventure of his in the future.
Images courtesy of WALT DISNEY PICTURES.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is now out in cinemas.