It’s a cinematic rule of thumb: the further into a series, the worse the film. There are a lot of reasons for this but the primary is that the first film in a series always introduces the characters, the world they inhabit, and the basic tension between them. In the Pirates of the Caribbean series, we first met Johnny Depp’s memorable Captain Jack Sparrow in The Curse of the Black Pearl, and it was a delightful film, a fun amusement park ride even more entertaining than the eponymous Disneyland ride upon which it was based.
One of the most interesting characters in the film is Philip (Sam Claflin), who is a Bible-toting Christian in the band of cutthroats that comprise Blackbeard’s crew. First introduced as the sole survivor of a disaster, he’s tied to the mast, to the puzzlement of Sparrow. There’s a cynical bent to his character in the film, however, and at times Philip is the naive optimist who is surprised and exploited by his crewmates and especially Blackbeard.