Remember when Johnny Depp exploded onto the big screen as Jack Sparo- Sorry, CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow, and it was awesome? Ah the good old days, what I would give to go back to that time where Pirates were cool and Salazar's Revenge didn't exist. The fifth instalment to the Pirates franchise displays a complete evolution of genre complying with Louis Giannetti's theory. The Cure of the Black Pearl marked the Primitive genre stage, the film blew audiences away and introduced them to the pirates genre. Dead Man's Chest marked the classical stage, classical conventions were utilised such as the Kraken and what have you. Next is the Revisionist stage of At World's End with it's time travel, witches that grow into giants and that sinkhole final act, let's just ignore the pointless fourth film aaaaaaaaaand now, unfortunately, we have the all out parody that is Salazar's revenge.
Pirates 5 is quite simply a parody of itself, from its stupidly absurd, comedic action sequences, to Johnny Depp himself. This film feels like one big joke and I can pinpoint the exact moment I knew this to be true. The way Jack is introduced in this film is quite possibly one of the goofiest sequences I've ever seen in the cinema. I've seen bank robberies go wrong before, but stealing the bank itself... All I can say is, what are those horses taking and where can I get me some? BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! The guillotine scene is just so horrifically bad I physically had to lift my jaw up off the floor in a mix of amazement and bafflement. The Pirates franchise is no stranger to big, illogical, comical action scenes, but this film takes that to a whole different level of stupidity and is almost like a scene out of Epic Movie.
As well as the action scenes being all out parodies of ones which preceded them, the acting is as much, if not more so. Johnny Depp drunkenly stumbles out of the children's hospital to play Jack Sparrow once again... Or at least I think he was acting... I'm not quite sure to be honest. Sparrow has always been an alcoholic character, but that was once his lovable charm, now Depp slurs his speech and acts so confused to the point where it's hard to believe he hadn't had "a single drop of rum." This being said he gives the best performance in this film which is shocking to be honest. Geoffrey Rush, similar to Depp, plays a parody of his character Captain Barbossa, but to be honest, Barbossa was always a kind of parody of pirates so I can let that slide. However, what I cannot excuse is the abysmal performance by the films two newcomers Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario. Not helped by their rather forced relationship, the two provide a masterclass in wooden acting that makes it near impossible to care for their characters.
However bad the acting is, it is not the worst part of this film, oh no. That would be the films script and visuals. Firstly, the script. Pirates 5 is plagued with terrible dialogue. Lines are recycled over and over, exposition is embedded with little effort and subtlety and the sex jokes, lots and lots of cringe worthy, unfunny sex jokes. Sex jokes are practically the back bone of comedy nowadays and can be hilarious, but here the jokes just come off as dirty, like a bunch of dirty old men in a bar recounting "the things I'd do to her." Simply put, it's extremely uncomfortable to watch and hear. The film also features a few pointless characters. From the bald witch lady who is simply there to give Barbossa Jack's compass, to Paul McCartney's Cameo role as Uncle Jack. The film just doesn't need them and they either act as a plot device or a waste of everyone's time.
Now the visuals, the film was poorly shot. The lighting at night was non existent and the way the camera is positioned for some shots was possibly the single worst place they could have placed the camera, hidden behind objects so the action of focus is distorted/ out of view. Also you can clearly tell where the film is missing a vital shot or just couldn't be bothered to shoot it, as the use of fast cutting and cut away shots are used in an attempt to cover this up, but instead only highlights it and thus confuses the audience. SPOILER WARNING! When Henry is kidnapped by Salazar there is no shot of him being pulled away or anything. A series of fast cuts, Carina's reaction shot to a non existent shot and expositional dialogue of "THEY TOOK HENRY!" is used to present his capture, and frankly it just seems like they spent too much money on Salazar's gravity defying hairdo, that their visual effects budget was bone dry. This happens a fair bit in Pirates 5 and it simply leaves you as confused as Depp appears to be throughout.
To conclude, Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge is by far the worst in the Pirates franchise. A full on parody of what it once was with horrific acting, poorly shot sequences and a script that needs some work done to say the least. I know I've been insanely harsh so, on the off chance that the filmmakers see this, I would like to say the famous line "it's nothing personal, it's just business" whether or not you agree or disagree with me, none of us can deny that the theme tune is absolutely epic and pumps us up every time.