Six years since we last rode the high seas with Cap’n Jack Sparrow in On Stranger Tides, Johnny Depp returns to his signature role. With his ship the Black Pearl now shrunken inside a tiny bottle, he’s even more hapless than usual, in charge of a bare-bones vessel named the Dying Gull. This is not a bad omen, as Salazar’s Revenge is a hugely enjoyable ride.
With the (Disney-friendly) theme of parenthood woven throughout Jeff Nathanson’s (Catch Me If You Can) script, Revenge introduces new directors, new heroes and one of the best Pirates villains the franchise has seen in the shape of Javier Bardem’s titular seaman.
Stuck in the Devil’s Triangle, this ghostly captain – brilliantly augmented with CGI – seeks vengeance on Sparrow for reasons that become clear later on. “He took everything from me and filled me with rage and pain,” he spits, lashings of black goo coming from his mouth.