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Fantasy - Sourcery, Pirates OTC

Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 11 
Source of storyThe original Disney ride and characters from the the previous four films.
DirectorJoachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
Writers/ScriptJeff nathanson, Terry Rossio
StarringJohnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Stephen Graham, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly, Paul McCarney, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.5/10 by 295,730 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 30% by 290 reviewers. Review2view: 4/10.

Elevator Pitch: A young man, Henry Turner, is searching for Captain Jack Sparrow because it seems that the captain may be able to release Turner’s father, Will, from a watery grave. Also on a quest is Carina, a young astronomer who has a book and a map which could lead her to an enchanted island. The three meet up in the prison on St Martin as Jack and Carina are on their way to be executed. Henry has been the sole survivor on a naval ship which had accidentally entered the Devil’s Triangle making them prey to Armando Salazar, whose ship has been trapped for many years after Jack tricked him into sailing into it. Rescued by from death by Jack’s crew they set sail on the old ship Dying Gull but now the navy, Jack’s old nemesis Hector Barbossa and the ghostly Armando Salazar are after them.  Possibly their only hope is the Black Pearl, now magically contained in a bottle which Jack carries.

Content: No sex or nudity although Jack is usually drunk and Carina gets down to her (18th century) underwear once. The film is really a bunch of loosely connected set pieces. They start with Jack’s crew stealing, accidentally, a whole bank instead of just the safe. Jack and Carina are almost executed. Salazar’s ghostly ship and ghostly crew seems to be able to literally swallow up the opposition.  Jack et al are attacked by ghostly sharks when rowing ashore to an enchanted island. They are chased by the ghost crew, who find they cannot go onto the land. There is a limited amount of traditional sea battling.

A View: Our heroes are supposed to be trying to find the Trident of Poseidon which will do something worthwhile, but really the plot is sufficiently confusing to make the actual discovery of it a bit of an anti-climax. It is said to have cost $320 million or so, but even so has probably made money. I have quite enjoyed the previous outings which seemed to have a handle on the nautical bits, but this production has completely lost it. You can’t locate a position in the ocean with just a map but no landmarks and you can’t steer a course by following stars in the sky (other than the North Star). I know it’s fantasy, but as critics say about such things, if you notice the film’s not much good. And it isn’t. 

It is difficult to categorise this film but I have chosen “sorcery”. Amongst the many sorcery films reviewed on this site are: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Fantasy Island and The Dark Tower.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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