Despite this being a franchise known for its comedy, I felt a tinge of melancholy for the current installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge” (“Dead Men Tell No Tales” in the US and some other parts of the world.)
We find Jack Sparrow even more attached to the bottle than usual as he continues to be separated from his ship, The Black Pearl. Also, there’s a small air of despondency about him. This becomes evident at a scene where he finds himself alone, on the run, covered in mud and just looking for rum more than anything else.
I may be reading too much into it but the film was being made during a particularly strange and tough time in Johnny Depp’s life. First came that incident in Australia where his ex-wife’s yorkies illegally entered the country, then came that painfully awkward apology video the couple had to make. Thereafter came a bitter divorce, the death of his mom and allegations of abuse from Amber Heard. And now he’s in the middle of another legal dispute involving his finance managers.
Johnny and fans of the franchise do need a win—it has not been an easy job to capture the magic and innocent charm of the first film or the mad magnitude and humor of the next two.
Having said that, “Salazar’s Revenge” is the most serious of all the Pirates films. Yes, of course there a few laughs but it lacks the cleverness we’re used to. That wealth of mad lines has given way to big set pieces.
Since some spoilers are out, we’ll be seeing the return of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom). The comeback is in connection to his son Henry who is out to find a new artifact, along with astronomer Carina Smyth.
Incidentally, “Pirates” has a pair of “viking” directors, Norwegian Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. Also new to the franchise is Geoff Zanelli who has taken over from Hans Zimmer.
It has been 14 years since “The Curse of the Black Pearl.” While there is always room for some kind of shenanigans where pirates are involved, it does have this feel of being the last or second to the “last” one.
However, you can’t take the word “last” too seriously when it comes to Hollywood or rock bands on tour. What’s certain is it’s all very uncertain.