Pirates of the Caribbean Salazar’s Revenge (2017) Review

3/5* Siobhan Divers | Shiv’s Show

Dir: Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg


Starring: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem, David Wenham, Kaya Scodelario, Brenton Thwaites

Pirates of the Caribbean Salazar’s Revenge (2017), the fifth entry to the franchise, more than makes up for the slightly disappointing fourth film of the series: On Stranger Tides (2011). The latest instalment has it all: new and returning characters, a new quest, a more in-depth back-story for main character Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and a new ‘villain’.

Salazar’s Revenge sees Captain Jack Sparrow on a new adventure, hoping to find the Trident of Poseidon before his old nemesis Captain Armando Salazar (Javier Bardem) finds him. Joining his crew on the latest voyage is astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and Elizabeth and Will Turner’s son, Henry (Brenton Thwaites).

As well as the compelling main storyline, the film also features a number of interlinking sub-plots: each of the main characters have their own motivations for the quest not unlike those of the other films in the franchise. Captain Jack Sparrow is out to reclaim self-respect, while Carina Smyth wishes to continue her fathers work and prove herself as an astronomer, and Henry Turner wants to break his fathers curse.

Original characters Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) return briefly in Salazar’s Revenge as a nod to the storyline of At World’s End (2007) which sees Turner cursed to spend all but one day every ten years at sea, taking the place of Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). The final sequence of the 2007 film shows Turner returning to land, with Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightly) waiting with their son.

Following on from this, despite the break in mostly independent-from-the-series film On Stranger Tides which lacks a number of familiar characters, Salazar’s Revenge continues the storylines of original characters while providing a new back-story to main character Captain Jack Sparrow.

The recurring and supporting cast can be commended with their excellent delivery of one-liners, quips and scene-stealing moments of humour. After Carina declares herself a ‘horologist’, Sparrow and the rest of the crew assume it is a posh word for prostitute while, when Sparrow is caught drunk inside the bank he is attempting to rob with a women, a British commander demands: “who’s that trollop?”, to which the reply from his lieutenant is: “Sir, I believe she’s your wife”.

The sequel-baiting ending of the film and the discussions of a sixth film raise the question of: when will it end? So while each film is familiar yet different enough, as a well-liked fantasy film series, it would be sensible to finish the franchise on a high before the adventures and quests get too repetitive and similar. Salazar’s Revenge is not perfect nor is the series overall, however the spectacle of the action scenes and the element of nostalgia through bringing back original cast members makes the film a memorable blockbuster.

If you liked this, please read, like and comment on my other reviews here.

I also have a Letterboxd account where I post some short reviews of the most recent films I’ve seen.

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Siobhan x

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