Modern blockbuster film making is expensive, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean (POTC) saga cost an astonishing $230m to bring to the screen, following a troubled Australian based shoot.
Recent POTC entries have not been welcomed by critics yet still embraced by the cinema going audience, does this entry change that dynamic?
Attempting to explain the “plot” would be pointless, so let’s just accept we have two younger characters “Henry” (Brenton Thwaites) and “Carina” Kaya Scodelario, designed to appeal to a younger audience demographic, who may or may not be connected to previous characters.
Curses are involved, a trident to break the spell if found is in the mix somewhere, together with various other cinematic McGuffins to keep the action moving in a variety of nonsensical directions.
Returning we have “Jack Sparrow” (Johnny Depp), “Captain Barbossa” (Geoffrey Rush) and “Captain Salazar” (Javier Bardem), the latter character in various states of disintegration.
Following a preposterous opening scene which appears to involve a team of horses dragging an entire building through a town, the film continues to pile on the improbabilities. The dialogue throughout is weak and generally acted at a level which would embarrass a school play.
Depp has surely tested audience patience by now with his Sparrow one note shtick and here adds nothing to his recent fading star status, both on and off screen. Rush and Bardem try their best to leave with some credit and arguably just scrape a pass.
Scodelario has some screen presence and has to endure mildly sexist jibes but Thwaites shows no screen talent, admittedly in a weakly written role.
Arguably, the only slight note of tension in the entire 120 minute film is a shark attack by “undead sharks” but seriously $230m, for a five minute decent CGI sequence?
We also briefly get to see some returning stars from the first film, presumably (or hopefully) well paid for their efforts, as they have nothing to do and would have been wiser to stay away.
This is a crushing, albeit not unexpected disappointment, especially for all the technical crew who have clearly spent many hours labouring over state of the art effects. All to no avail, as the screenplay and story were created on the back of a small napkin, in one tiny corner.
The film also manages the most cringe-worthy cameo, you will know it when you see it.
Critics eviscerated the film and yet it still took nearly $800m at the box office which may cause another movie to be made. Yet another example of the huge worldwide market which encourages and allows, sub standard films to make money.
No more POTC films, please make it stop…
A poor film, with a terrible story and variable acting, albeit with some impressive effects.
It really is time for Captain Sparrow to head to Davy Jones locker and stay there, alive, dead or even undead.