In an industry plagued with franchise fatigue, endless sequels, reboots, and reimagings, we can often forget what drew us to the original film in the first place. The general consensus from moviegoers for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels tend to agree that none of the subsequent films managed to recapture the “lighting in a bottle” movie magic of the first film. I myself was just wondering if recapturing said magic was even possible, as I recently sat down to watch the original again during a Saturday morning of channel surfing. I don’t hate any of the sequels, as a matter of fact, I find them all to be quite charming. Even the fourth film had its merits as far as I’m concerned but even so, it still seemed to be true. The first one was a solid, stand-alone, action adventure romp that (while it didn’t always make sense when you stop to think about it) could still delight and thrill me well past a decade after its theatrical release in a way that none of the sequels could possibly hope to recapture.
Then came the trailer for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, and we’ve finally been given a quick glimpse at the next swashbuckling adventure in the franchise.
In the trailer, we see Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem portaying the terrifying Captain Salazar, a pirate on the lookout for, you guessed it, Captain Jack Sparrow. As we all know, this films sees Johnny Depp reprising his role as the mischievous but lovable scoundrel pirate with a heart of gold (when the occasion calls for it). Alongside him is a supporting cast filled with many familiar faces to the franchise, including Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Kevin McNally and Stephen Graham. It will also feature a cameo from Paul McCartney.
The film focuses on Salazar and his crew of ghost pirates, who escape the Devil’s Triangle on their mission to kill every sea-faring pirate. Sparrow plots his survival by attempting to track down the mystical Trident of Poseidon.
As intrigued as I am by the return of Bloom’s William Turner to the series, what we’re immediately drawn to is the introduction of Bardem’s otherworldly looking character, Salazar. Seeing Bardem on screen as a villain immediately fills me the type of fear and dread that only Anton Chigurh from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN can provide (I may or may not have been deeply terrified by that movie. Horror movie monster at a camp in the middle of the woods? That’s hilarious! But give me Anton Chigurh on a long empty road in the desert and you’ll see me head for the hills faster than you can say “Heads or Tails?“).
I have to admit that I think the CGI looks a bit odd in its depiction of the ghostly Salazar and his crew, but Bardem’s performance still shines through and still somehow comes off both terrifying and funny (again, in the way that only a former Bond villain could pull off). Does Bardem’s inclusion in the cast mean we can expect a great film? Of course not, but the best part of any given PIRATE film is it’s villain, whether it’s Geoffrey Rush delighting audiences with his charm as Barbossa, Bill Nighy’s Davy Jones telling his crew to release the Kraken, or even Ian McShane’s understated yet menacing performance as Blackbeard, all of these villains in the franchise have a few things in common: they were all well-acted, badass characters, who could inspire both fear and laughter from their respective audiences. I highly doubt this film can live up to the expectations of the first, as the three films proceeding it failed to do, but Bardem’s performance clearly indicates that the franchise will continue doing what it does best when it comes to its villains, and I can’t wait to see more!
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES hits theaters May 26th, 2017.
What did you think of this trailer? Do you think Disney is on the right track to resurrect the franchise, or do you think this film should have stayed in Davy Jones’ locker? Be sure to let us know @TheMovieChickk!
Want to get caught up on the franchise? Get all four films on Blu-Ray and DVD from Amazon.com!