This week is a true David vs Goliath bout, with the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise facing competition from the Dwayne Johnson Baywatch reboot. Both films have characters who spend a lot of time on beaches, but other than that the two movies could not be more different.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell no Tales
Johnny Depp is all set to don Captain Sparrow's hat for the fifth instalment of the franchise. The film is directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg with Jerry Bruckheimer serving again as the producer. Starring Depp, Javier Bardem and with the return of Geoffrey Rush and addition of Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario, the film's official synopsis reads:
Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil's Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea ...including him. Captain Jack's only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.
The trailers and promo posters had fans of the series jumping for joy, even as Depp’s off-screen troubles and the aftermath of the fourth film had critics sharpening their claws. The film features the return of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, reportedly, albeit in a cameo for the latter. In addition, we have Thwaites portraying Henry, Will’s son in a story about revenge.
"So Salazar wants to avenge what happened to him because of Captain Jack Sparrow," said Bruckheimer.
Pirates 5 cost Disney more than USD200 million to make before a major marketing spend and is counting on a huge showing overseas, where it opens in every corner of the globe tomorrow, save for Japan.
The franchise has never been a favorite of critics — outside of the first film — with Dead Men Tell No Tales currently sporting a 33 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, on par with the last installment, 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Baywatch, directed by Seth Gordon and starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Priyanka Chopra as the villain, has not been having a fun summer. Paramount decided to make the film adaptation of the classic television show R-rated, with as many F-bombs as bikinis. In an even weirder move, they decided on an early release of the movie in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, both gambles seem to have failed. Reviewers slammed the movie, which currently sports a 14 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film, which is getting a jump on the weekend by opening on Thursday, looks like it’s going to leave people wincing at the bad jokes.
For India, the R-rating and bikinis were enough to trigger the censor board’s ire, with the film barely getting approval. It remains to be seen how much of the film is left on the cutting-room floor.
At least for us, Priyanka Chopra’s statement sums up Baywatch (which is releasing a week late in India on June 2) perfectly: “It’s a great summer film but don’t take your kids.”