I'm having another go at writing a film review, and vowing to do it more often in the future. You see, among the majority of film genres, I am a big fan of blockbusters as well, and I find the lack of good and honest reviews on them a bit ridiculous. These sort of films never seem to be any good, if you have to believe every review written by professionals, leading me to believe that these so-called film buffs are actually only ONE kind of film buff. It doesn't always have to be your precious La La Land or a mind-blowing comrade of the Oscars. In short: these reviews of mine are written from the point of view of someone who still goes to the theatre weekly, not with the intention of finding every little thing that's wrong with the new crowd-pleaser, but purely to have fun, lose myself in the story and enjoy the ride. First one up; the fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean.
First thing's first: I am a huge fan of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and I do like watching the two sequels every now and again. The fourth one, however, was not that good and I'm pleased to say that this fifth one is finally a proper continuation of the original story. Will and Elizabeth's legacy is continued through their son Henry, the headstrong young man in the summary above, who is determined to free his father from the curse of The Flying Dutchman. And despite the fact that I loved seeing Bloom - finally - return as Will Turner and was just a tiny bit disappointed that he wasn't in the film for more than about five minutes, these next couple of things more than made up for that.
JACK SPARROW || Truth be told, I get it that most reviews state that the character of Jack Sparrow is getting a bit old. I did feel he was not that funny as he always seemed to be at certain points, and just a tiny bit over-acted (however, Jack is drunk for the majority of the film so that's actually a bit relative). BUT if there's one thing that this film gets absolutely right it is that unlike in the last couple of Pirates films, Jack's part is once again reduced to a supporting character, occasionally stealing a scene like he did so wonderfully in the first one, but never really at the centre of the story. Actually, the only big thing Jack provided it with is the new villain. And funny scenes that make you forgive the pirate for all the less funny ones.
SALAZAR || You can't look past the fact that Bardem is an impressive presence in just about every film he's been in, and this is no exception. He does an amazing job as Salazar, who by the way looks awesome every minute he's on screen. I loved the way those dead were stuck in the exact moment they died, leaving blown off parts of them out of their wispy bodies, while Salazar himself seems to be stuck floating under water wherever he goes. Also, that scene with the undead sharks is dope, so props to the special effects team.
THE NEW CHARACTERS || Henry, played by Brenton Thwaites, had a very Will Turner-y feel about him and I had no problem rooting for him the minute he appeared on the screen. (although freeing Will Turner was probably in both our interests so no surprise there, ha!). THE stand-out of the film, however, is Kaya Scodelario's Carina. A romantic interest for Henry, sure, but never really depicted that way. Instead, her story is entirely her own as she pursues her life's calling to find the Trident of Poseidon, being witty, funny and feisty while she's at it. Wonderfully portrayed by Scodelario!
BARBOSSA || Jack's nemesis/reluctant ally/once again nemesis/... has always been the better character of the two, courtesy of Geoffrey Rush, and that status really reaches its high point in this film. If there's one person at the emotional core of this story, it's him, and Rush - once again -delivers everything as beautifully as only he can.
THE STORY || The story is pretty simple, which makes it easy to keep track of it (which you definitely can't say about all Pirates films) while leaving room for more fun. Jack's miracle escapes are back and in their best form (I swear, one scene had me in tears, you'll know the one when you see it). Paul McCartney's cameo, while short, was spot on, and while David Wenham's character as an Officer of the British Royal Navy was a bit underplayed and quite disposable (which is actually the funniest thing about the whole thing), it WAS a nice nod to Norrington and his men in the first film.
In short? If this was the very last one, it's a great way to end the franchise. At the same time, I wouldn't mind another one if it sticks to this film's standards. I had fun, and if you liked all the previous Pirates films (or just the one) you will, too.
Q: have you seen Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge? What did you think?
PS: stick around till after the credits if you're curious. There's a short additional scene which - once again - leaves everything open instead of wrapping it up.