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'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' film review.

Summary: After four movies, the Johnny Depp franchise has no wind in its sails

Marwa Hamad,Staff Reporter

At some point while watching the fifth instalment of Pirates of the Caribbean , we had to take a deep breath and ask ourselves why - no, really, why - there were five instalments of Pirates of the Caribbean in the first place. Surely they could have stopped while they were ahead?

Captain Jack Sparrow's garbled speech and ill attempts at humour as he runs away from menacing forces are meant to be the glue that keeps this franchise together, but Johnny Depp, now 53, has outgrown the role. The domestic violence allegations made against him last year by his then wife Amber Heard - and a video that surfaced of him appearing to be a surly drunk during a marital disagreement - meant our desires to watch him play a wasted, pervy pirate on screen were non-existent.

In Pirates of the Carribean: Salazar's Revenge (also known as Dead Men Tell No Tales ), Sparrow takes something of a backseat to two new faces: Henry Turner, son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightly), who's determined to lift the curse on his banished father, and Carina Smyth, a sharp young woman who likes to travel by way of the stars.

Scenes with book-savvy heroine Smyth, played by Kaya Scodelario, 25, were uncomfortable at best and cringe-worthy at worst. It's almost as if the writers thought making Smyth exceptionally smart would make up for the horrid treatment she received from the much older pirates - this includes an academically inclined/horizontally reclined joke, as well a running gag about Smyth calling herself a horologist (horology is the science of measuring time - nothing sexual here). There's a scene where Smyth disrobes so she can swim for her life; Sparrow ogles her shamelessly and suggests they could have seen more of her if his companion had kept his mouth shut. Who thought that was a good idea? Seriously? Disney? Anyone?

When it comes to visuals, an action fantasy film about pirates isn't ever going to be a beacon of believability. But it was still irksome that Smyth looked polished in every scene, somehow managing to have her eyebrows sculpted while lost at sea. You would think she and her half-baked love interest Turner, played by 27-year-old Brenton Thwaites, wandered straight out of a model casting.

Our heroes were never in a great deal of conceivable danger, either. Javier Bardem's disfigured Captain Salazar and his ashy minions were the most interesting visual component to the film, and Geoffrey Rush's two-faced Captain Barbossa the most interesting character, but overall, the story failed to illicit any real emotional investment from the viewer. An attempt at catharsis is made towards the end of the film, with a twist reveal followed by a surprise for the franchise's more devoted fans.

Altogether, the film clocked in at about two hours and ten minutes - but the delightful speaking cameo from Sir Paul McCartney, which lasted barely a minute, would have been sufficient viewing for us.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge releases in the UAE on May 25.

Gulf News

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 23, 2017
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