Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales faces the tall order of making the franchise relevant again. Thankfully Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is getting some help on the big screen this time. And it comes in the form of Javier Bardem’s vengeful Captain Salazar.
Ever since the first Pirates movie came out in 2003, the series has become something of a sinking ship. The franchise has certainly been profitable, yes. Its four films thus far have raked in over $3.73 billion at the box office worldwide. However, the film’s reviews have only progressively gotten worse. On Stranger Tides scored a mere 50 on Metacritic.
Barde’s presence could be the franchise’s last attempt to breathe life into Pirates and keep it afloat.
“You Will Pay For What You’ve Done”
The latest Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales trailer features Bardem quite heavily. Once upon a time, the Spaniard Captain Salazar was committed to stomping out the pirate scourge. For the most part, he seemed successful – until the day he ran into a young Jack Sparrow. Somehow, Sparrow lured him into a trap that nearly caused his demise. But something kept him from dying, and now, he wanders the sea as a green-skinned zombie who can walk on water, seeking vengeance.
Yes, that sounds like Pirates of the Carribean to us.
But Bardem’s presence in the trailer proves to be a legitimately terrifying one. The floating hair and fangs are a great touch by the visual effects team, of course. But more so are the way he stares down Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), telling him “find Sparrow for me”. More than once in the trailer, he puts on a tense face that – even when he smiles – automatically induces a sense of graveness we didn’t see in Ian McShane’s Blackbeard just one film ago.
Javier Bardem could very well be Pirates’ best villain since Barbossa himself in the original.
The Right Guy
How else do we know that Bardem is the right guy to right the ship? We only need to look at Bardem’s credentials. In No Country For Old Man, his turn as the hitman Anton Chigurgh earned him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also did an excellent job as the Bond villain Raoul Silva in Skyfall; his speech about rats eating rats was a standout moment in arguably the best 007 film in the modern era.
Besides Bardem and Rush, Depp will be joined by newcomers Kaya Scodelario and Brendon Thwaites. Orlando Bloom will also reprise his role as Will Turner after being absent for the previous film.
Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales hits theaters on May 26, 2017.