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Sell By Date

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge
Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg
Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario and others
Rating: * * ½

The fifth film in the 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' franchise, tries so hard to entertain you wonder why the makers are even setting up for an extension. 'Salazar’s Revenge' has a new hero, Henry (Brenton Thwaites), son of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley from the earlierfilms, and a gutsy new female lead, Carina (Kaya Scodelario), an astronomer and horologist (the latter gets some rude guffaws from the pirates) in the peaches-and-cream Knightley mould. When Henry first lays his eyes on the legendary pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)—drunk, shifty-eyed, trouserless and in jail, he is disappointed. The audience might be too because this franchise looks well past its sell by date. It’s got grand CGI action sequences and abit of humour, but it seems heavy going and is not as enjoyable as the first couple of films in the series. Johnny Depp still remains the star attraction, though his scruffy, kohl-eyed charm no longer works as before and he acts like a parody of himself. The plot is about the search for the Trident of Poseidon, which Henry needs to break the curse on his father. Carina (who is so smart, that she is branded a witch), has the map that can lead to it. Meanwhile, the dead Captain Salazar (what a waste to cover up Javier Bardem’s face with white glop!) and his dead crew on a ghost ship, are hunting for Sparrow; joining the fray is one-legged Captain Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who wants the Trident for himself. Sparrow, in the meantime, is busy “taking a bank” which means not just the safe but the whole building, in one of the film’s funny scenes, at the end of which his angry crew walk out on him. There is a lot of cartoonish violence (one scene involves a guillotine), hair’s breadth escapes and a small serving of romance between the youngsters, which Sparrow keeps scoffing at. For a series that had a theme park ride as its inspiration, the Pirates films haven’t done too badly--this one actually bags Paul McCartney for a cameo. However, it would take a great script and a lot more craziness to make a sixth movie worth the audience’s while.

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