Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Movie Review: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (2006)

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Movie"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Director: Gore Verbinski
Year: 2006
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 31 minutes

Jack Sparrow owes a debt to Davy Jones, but in order to avoid paying up, he looks for a treasure chest containing the heart of Jones. Meanwhile, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann have their wedding ruined by the East India Trading Co., who have arrested them both for helping Jack escape. Will makes a deal that will bring them Jack and his compass so that Elizabeth can be set free.

 "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is the second film in the "Pirates" Disney franchise. Gore Verbinski returns to the directors chair once again to helm this installment. The majority of the cast returns to reprise their roles, including Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Swann, Jack Davenport as now former Commandant Norrington, Kevin McNally as Gibbs, and Jonathan Pryce as Gov. Swann. New to the franchise are Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd as Bootstrap Bill Turner, Tom Hollander as Cutler Beckett, one of the two antagonists of this movie, and Bill Nighy, who plays Davy Jones, the other baddie to whom Jack Sparrow owes a debt. Jack Sparrow is searching for the heart of Davy Jones so he can avoid paying his debt, and Beckett wants Jack's magic compass so he can get the heart of Jones in order to allow the East India Trading Company to rule the seas and eradicate all pirates.

There are a lot of characters in this installment, which is fitting because there are a lot of things going on here, an overabundance of stuff, really. "Dead Man's Chest" uses the typical sequel formula, which takes whatever worked in the first film and doubles down on the spectacle. Audiences liked the rum jokes? Oh, we can definitely add more rum jokes. Fancy yourself a sword fights? We've got those too, and with more stunts on a grander scale. You like immortal demon pirates? Well check out these immortal demon fish people! You want jerky guys in powder wigs? Our new bad guy Beckett is twice the asshole Norrington was! Plus, now there is a Kraken, and you can't get bigger than a Kraken.

That being said, there is still a lot of fun to be had with this sequel. Bill Nighy provides a fantastic villain and is wonderfully animated. The CGI on his character is impeccably done, though unfortunately, we can't say that for everything or every single character in this picture. Speaking of characters, as we expected, they are still likable, and Jack Sparrow still gets his dopey digs in when he can, and it seems the role had not yet gone to his head. Not everything is perfect about "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." There is one scene towards the end during a sword fight where Elizabeth becomes extremely annoying, which is pattern that progresses for the rest of the series. In fact, the whole scene is a bit too much, but that's the nature of this second beast they've made. This was filmed in conjunction with "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," and as with many movies shot in such a manner, it winds up feeling like only half of a film. It does have a big battle sequence as the movie's climax, but has a bit of a epilogue that ends on a cliffhanger (though this has become more and more common in modern film making). It sounds like we are bagging on this film a lot, but overall, we still find it enjoyable despite its flaws.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 54%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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