Pirate Zombies Ahoy!

potc2017.59: Pirates of the Carribean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017)

Or maybe they are more ghosts than zombies (Does it matter? Does anyone care?).

Ahoy there, shipmates- just how do you review, in this day and age, a POTC film?

Answer: I don’t think you can. LIke the Transformers films and quite possibly the Fast & The Furious films (which I haven’t seen), at this point the POTC series defies criticism. Strange to think that films reach some kind of zenith/nadir (delete as appropriate), where public opinion defies all logic and reason. Although box-office was down for this fifth entry in the series, that may be more indicative of a general malaise in box office than the films popularity (particularly in America, where all sorts of films have fallen foul this year).

Curiously, the film sports a different title in America, with the subtitle ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’  instead of  ‘Salazar’s Revenge’. Was it a marketing thing? Not that it’s the kind of thing that’ll keep me awake at night, but I am curious. The problem with the title we’ve got is that I don’t think Salazar was ever mentioned in the earlier entries so his name and ‘Revenge’ doesn’t particularly mean much, and at the very least whilst ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ doesn’t really reflect any particular plot point, it least it refers to a line spoken in the movie.

At any rate, I’m wittering on because I can’t really find much to say about it, except that it ends with some sense of closure which suggests it might be the (welcome) end of the franchise. If so, it isn’t a bad film at all, Pirates-wise you understand, but if they go off on another tangent then this finale rather betrays any good will I have for it.

As it is, it has a few laughs, some terrifyingly deep plot holes, some very good visual effects and a whole heap of excesses which just insult decent film-making and general common-sense. I guess kids everywhere love it,  but the franchise is looking rather tired now (well it looked a bit tired a few films back) and perhaps it should be laid to rest. Unfortunately, whether it’s artistically exhausted or not, whether there’s another POTC story that desperately needs to be told or not, the question that will impact whether we see  another POTC film is simply what the suits at Disney think of this films box-office.  Which is why the series got to this point anyway: money. The greed of the studio and the greed of the film-makers and the cast (I’m looking at you Mr Depp) has more bearing on modern film than such old considerations as originality and quality.

3 thoughts on “Pirate Zombies Ahoy!

  1. A fair review. It’s decent disposable entertainment, but I think there was a better movie tucked away in there somewhere. I’m amazed that studios still haven’t learnt that you need to invest in strong storytellers to get the biggest bucks. Star power and whizzy effects will get you a long way, but to diminishing returns. Of course, it’s easier to buy names and pixels than it is good ideas.

    1. One good thing regards these established franchises struggling is that maybe it opens a window for something new. But looking at what passes for ‘new’ these days (and how a genuine great like 2049 fared) makes me wonder.

      Maybe it just leaves enough room for James Cameron to pounce with his Avatar sequels. That’s so depressing. I’ll go hide in a corner with a TV boxset or two…

  2. Matthew McKinnon

    IIRC, the original film (the only one I’ve seen) ended on a note of closure. As long as this one turned even a modest profit, expect another in three years or so.

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