Next to Geoffrey Rush, there hasnít been a villain to shake up Pirates of the Caribbean, at least for me. However, in the exciting fifth film subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales aka Salazarís Revenge, Oscar winner Javier Bardem creates a formidable foe. We even learn something about Captain Jack Sparrow (played by the incomparable Johnny Depp) which might surprise fans.
Hair floating on invisible waves (a nifty touch), Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) seems driven by two factors: escape and vengeance. I wonder who in the pirating fraternity could have upset him so!
In Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazarís Revenge, I appreciated the visual vocabulary. Notable references included The Invisible Man and The Crimson Pirate. However, these are not clichťs but rather incidental spurs which spin on the whim of chance.
Perhaps the real surprise here was Kaya Scodelario, previously seen as Effy in Skins. For Salazarís Revenge, she abandons the damsel-in-distress gimmick, favouring intelligence and self-determination. Not a bad thing considering the alternative.
Significantly, the film contains the most riotous sight gag involving a guillotine. This felt like a dozen great jokes rolled into one. After all, danger can be humorous when reactions synchronise perfectly with the primary stunt.
Also, a series defining score from Geoff Zanelli goes a long way towards solidifying good will in the future.
(Released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and rated "PG-13" for sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content.)
For more information about this movie, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.