A few days before the third Pirates of the Caribbean film was released, the last tea clipper in the world- the Cutty Sark, moored in Greenwich mysteriously caught fire and was heavily damaged.
I mention this because when I read a review for Pirates, the opening line ran simply “At least the Cutty Sark is salvageable.” It ran true then, and time has done nothing to rob that sentence of it’s truth. Because with the Cutty Sark is back open (and well worth a visit if your ever in London) the Pirates franchise is now a franchise in dire need of being out out of my misery.
The first was lightning in a bottle, a film that was pretty much expected to be a write off for Tax-purposes but instead is in IMDB’s top 250. Which naturally meant sequel after sequel after sequel. Each suffering from declining returns. But, since the Pirates franchise is the 12th highest grossing franchise of all time you’d be kidding yourself if you ever thought that it would be allowed to enter Davy Jones Locker.
Which brings me to the teaser for Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge with a frankly unbelievable budget of 320 million dollars. (Which, when you factor in advertising means that it’s going to have to gross at least 1.25 billion to have been worth anyone’s time.) Whose first teaser trailer was unleashed this week. And strangely, alleged wife beater and most overpaid actor of 2015 Johnny Depp (He made $1.20 for every $1 spent on him) doesn’t feature in a single frame. I can’t imagine why.
That aside, it’s nice to see a trailer that doesn’t have fade in and outs and that infernal Bwamm sound, but it doesn’t have a whole lot going for it either. The tone seems very dark and the film will probably terrify some of the smaller sailors in the audience. But it’s also nothing I haven’t seen in a Pirates film before.
British sailors getting killed? Check.
Mutated sailors? Check
An almost but not quite scary villain? Check. (Although this one reminded me of The Penguin from Batman Returns for some reason)
It’s got nice music though.
The best I can say is that it looks just another Pirates movie. Dark, with an incomprehensible plot and any sense of fun or wonder having been washed overboard. Javier Bardem deserves better than this.