Review: Pirates of the Caribbean – Salazar’s Revenge

By Simon Donohue

I’m of an age where I can remember failing to flinch when Dr Who sets would wobble or Blake’s 7 clung clumsily on to one another as the Liberator passed through a turbulent patch of space dust.

I wouldn’t have noticed had they not bothered to digitally remaster Star Wars, getting rid of the black patches of galaxy that George Lucas Pritt-Sticked the Millennium Falcon to and replacing it with a much more convincing digital array of distant planets.

I was equally impressed by Ray Harryhausen’s stilted animatronics and James Gunn’s Guardians of The Galaxy.

Mainly this is because cinema magic has always had the ability to cast a spell because audiences were ready and willing to accept an hour or so of make-believe.

But increasingly, it would be difficult to establish reality from fiction if you tried and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (known as Dead Men Don’t Talk in the United States) is the perfect example.

The latest instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean is a film which proves we’ve gone beyond tipping point when it comes to films relying on a mix real-life muscle and clever digital animation. What’s real and what is no longer an issue – it’s all so awesomely convincing.

I was lucky enough to enjoy and advance screening of Laser Digital 3D version of the film on the Odeon Trafford Centre’s IMAX screen. I recommend you do the same.

Quite how directors Joachim Running and Espen Sandberg managed to create believable corpse mariners so decayed that you could see right through them is beyond me, but it was incredibly impressive to see.

But what about the story? Truth be told, this is a romp which delivers no great surprises and relies to a certain extent on special effects and high octane thrills to capture the imagination.

There are some great set piece stunt scenes, in particular Cap’n Jack’s attempts to steal a safe and its contents from the bank, but much of what you’ll see will feel fairly familiar stock to POTC fans.

We’re once again reunited with Johnny Depp’s trademark Cap’n Jack Sparrow as he is pursued by his old nemesis, the evil Cap’n Salazar (Javier Bardem).

Freed from a purgatory-like existence within the watery open grave that is the Devil’s Triangle, Salazar seeks revenge on Captain Jack.

At the same time, a young British Navy sailor, Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), is intent on freeing his father, Will (Orlando Bloom) from a similarly torturous tomb of the undead on board the shipwrecked Flying Dutchman. He teams up with love interest Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a horologist, and his father’s one-time enemy Cap’n Sparrow.

It all adds up to an intense romp of epic proportions and culminating in a breathtaking finale on the seabed itself he rival parties fight to be first to unlock the power of Poseidon’s trident.

Verdict: See if for the FX and because you love Cap’n Jack, not because you’re expecting any great surprises.

Certificate: 12A.

On general release from May 25, 2017.

Why not see it in IMAX?

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is specially formatted in its entirety exclusively for IMAX® theatres.

The expanded 1.9:1 aspect ratio presented in IMAX fills more of the screen – delivering audiences 26% more of the image than standard theatres for a truly remarkable experience.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge is digitally re-mastered into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience® with proprietary IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-mastering) technology.

 The crystal-clear images, coupled with IMAX’s customized theatre geometry and powerful digital audio, create a unique environment that will make audiences feel as if they are standing with Captain Jack Sparrow at the bow of the ship.