Saturday, June 7, 2014

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

It was hard not to enjoy Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Pirates are always a fun subject to tell stories about. Johnny Depp exceeded at portraying a new character on screen while working with a script that not only created an interesting world that he lives in, but a lively one at that. After such a critical and financial success, even with some of its dark moments, it would seem important that the mouse house would stick with keeping this particular franchise afloat (pardon the pun) with the same elements while adding something new to the story. Thankfully, that's what they did. Besides a number of small issues, this sequel holds up extremely well.

All for one, and one for.....wait, wrong movie
After defeating Captain Barbossa and reclaiming the Black Pearl as his own, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) returns to the seas. Unknown to him, he is quickly needed again by Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) to help him find the key to a secret chest only known by Davy Jones, the Captain of the Flying Dutchman. If Turner doesn't find this soon, he and his fiancé Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) are to be hung for treason and letting a criminal escape (that being Jack Sparrow). Just by starting the cast off with these three, is great see. Their chemistry worked in the first and they continue to work well here too and that's not all. Several cast members from the first film come back too which is a pleasure. I was surprised to even see Jack Davenport (Commodore James Norrington) return.  Even stranger is that although it feels like with all the returning cast, the experience would feel too much of the same, but it's not.

There are three new main characters to the roster. Naomie Harris plays Tia Dalma, a spiritual witch who has a way with words and expands the backstory of Davy Jones. Stellan Skarsgård adds an interesting mix to the story when it turns out he's Bootstrap Bill, the father of Will Turner. Lastly, there's Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) who's not terrifying if you're older than 13 but he's still a force to be reckoned with. Besides it is cool how well the body of an octopus was integrated in with his face. There's another internal struggle that goes on with Jack Sparrow involving whether he really is more than just a pirate. It's good character development. Again, just like the first film, Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio's writing is great at adding new material to what fans and audiences have already accepted from the start.

However, there is one issue with this movie and its the only problem too. There are numerous events involving continuity that go without explanation. An example of this is when Jack Sparrow captures Barbossa's undead monkey. I later discovered that the monkey was undead because in the post credits of the first movie, the monkey had stolen a piece of the cursed treasure. Now how would someone know that if they didn't watch the post credits? Another event like this belonged to when audiences finally see Pintel and Ragetti in a boat with a the dog who holds the  jail keys. Since when did the dog become their ownership? I do not recall them taking the dog or the dog following them. Some explanation would be appreciated on scenes like these because its confusing to how various characters got into such situations. Like it was stated before though, this is the only issue.

That's awesome special effects
Once more, Dariusz Wolski's cinematography is beautiful, capturing all wide panoramic shots of the sea and various islands. The action is still very entertaining. It does not involve as many canon explosions as did the first, but in replace of this, viewers get to see the Kraken. By golly is this cephalopod enormous. It's suction cups are gigundo, with agile tentacles that batter any ship to pieces. Oh, and don't forget that dental job, woo! The special effects, which also make up the Kraken and several other of Davy Jones’ sailors look great too. There's such a diverse imagination with what they look like with several mixes of marine wildlife. I can't imagine having barnacles or scallops growing off my face though. Finally, although he co-wrote the score to the first with Klaus Badelt, Hans Zimmer takes the reigns as full composer. Fans of his music should be able to tell he took over because their are parts to the score that have more emphasis on heavy tones involving strings. Zimmer also keeps the same main theme for Sparrow and even includes a softer theme for the tragic character of Davy Jones. It is still a great follow up altogether.

It suffers from silly continuity errors but that's its only flaw. The action, music, special effects and characters all still entertain at the level they did from the first. Watch out for that Kraken though, man what a giant.

Points Earned --> 9:10


  1. These movies, even if they get weak, still have the potential to be fun movies.

  2. Agreed. Pirates so far has proven itself as a strong franchise.