Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scoderlario, Kevin McNally, Golsifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham, Martin Klebba, Angus Barnett, Adam Browne, Giles New, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Paul McCartney, Bruce Spence.
Every tale has an ending, the circle completed and the finale one that can be passed down as being just as riveting or exciting as the original, the one that started the quest in the first place; if not then dead men and bored but faithful audiences tell no tales, for nobody likes a sequel to be a failure.
Whether it is Salazar’s Revenge or Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth instalment of the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise seems to wave between the two depending on whose official page you wish to read, it all equates to the same thing in the end, that the franchise is back on track after a very disappointing fourth outing and the resolution of certain people’s lives is one that sees the film’s credibility honoured.
Every tale has an ending and this instalment has everything the loyal follower of the series could ask for in terms of back story, of surprises, of fantastic effects, and a villain that makes Barbossa and the British Royal Navy seem like child toys, lead based models in which battles are fought before bed-time and left to melt over time by a fire on a cold winter’s night. In Javier Bardem’s feel for the character of Captain Salazar, the sheer weight of malice comes crashing down upon the head of all who sail the seas, pirate and Navy alike, and the confrontation between Captain Salazar and Captain Jack Sparrow is one of absolute ferocity, one that really captures the animosity of 17th and 18th century life on the high seas and just how much pirates, as now, were to be feared.
In Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem there is the sense of unfinished business creeping through every scene they have, for Mr. Depp especially this is the culmination of a series that further enhanced his name and one that quite rightly he has given heart and soul to, whilst he has been in some pretty superb films over the years, for an actor to be so incredibly linked to one character can be both a blessing and a curse, the strength it takes for someone to acknowledge this at the risk of disappointing a fan is perhaps the hardest part of any art form and one that must be accepted when responding to frequent requests to answer questions from anybody they come across.
With excellent backing from Kevin McNally, Geoffrey Rush and Stephen Graham, Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is a feast, it is a film of great quality and one that captures the imagination fully, there is nothing to dislike, nothing to feel cheated by and whilst it doesn’t reach the heights conceived by the original, it still none the less has absolute charm, the cinematic equivalent of Johnny Depp himself. A film to be lost within and come out the other side knowing you have seen the circle completed.
Ian D. Hall