Monday, 28 September 2020
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Tuesday, 11 July 2006 20:23

Ahoy me mateys! Ye’ve all heard the tale of a movie what took the landlubbers by storm a few y’ars back. ‘Twas called Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl and it featured a hearty perfarmance by a hero of the cinematic seas, Johnny Depp. A film what were meant as a bit o’ fool’s gold, turned into a treasure chest loaded to the gunwhales with witty one-liners and spectacularrrgh special effects. It hauled in considerable booty at the box office. Does the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – Dead Man’s Chest have what it takes to stand on ‘er own peg leg? Yarr, it certainly do!

Ahem… I will now revert from Pirate Speak for the sake of clarity. Pirates of the Caribbean 2 picks up shortly after the first film ended. Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and his fiancé Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) have been arrested for helping the drunken scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow in the first film. They now face the hangman’s noose if they don’t find him and convince him to relinquish his most valued possession, a compass that guides to your true heart’s desire.

Will and Elizabeth have an unwarranted trust that Jack will muster up some honor and do the right thing, but of course self-preservation is his number one motivator and greed is a close second. So when Jack learns that the devil of the high seas Davy Jones and his cursed crew are looking to settle a debt with him, he needs the compass to give him the upper hand.

This movie is at least as much fun as the first. Anyone who is disappointed must have tremendously high expectations! I realize it’s not War and Peace, but this is some serious summer entertainment. This movie has it all; a witty script; tons of action; eye-popping special effects; and the same dream cast as the original.

Johnny Depp is a joy to watch as he flaunts and flounces his way through a multitude of life-threatening situations. It’s a good thing he keeps that bottle of rum handy to numb the shock of nearly being barbequed, skewered, shish kabobed, or slurped up by a giant squid. Sparrow is an intriguing character who is sly and underhanded, but honorable in his own way. Orlando Bloom has filled out to fit the role of dashing young hero. In the first film he was still too boyish to be convincing as a blacksmith. Keira Knightley is good, but perhaps not as spirited as in the original.

The supporting cast is incredible, especially Bill Nighy as Davey Jones. The extravagant character is mostly computer-generated with a living tentacle beard and lobster claw hand, but those piercing blue eyes belong to Nighy. Computers may bring him to life, but the actor brings him his soul. The only comparison so far on film would be Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

Many characters from the first film make a come back including Jack Davenport as Norrington, Elizabeth’s original fiancé. I have a soft-spot for Davenport since he starred in one of my favorite TV shows, BBC’s Coupling. I want to cheer him on as if we’re old pals every time I see him in a film. He gets some prime moments in Pirates 2. One of the best and most original action scenes in the film is a three-way sword fight involving Jack, Will, Norrington and a wayward windmill!

Despite some minor flaws this movie had me completely involved the whole way through. My biggest complaint would be the length. Clocking in at almost two-and-a-half hours it could have used a bit of a trim.

Yaharrrr! Here me matey! Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – Dead Man’s Chest be worthy of yer dubloons. Aye, it shivered me timbers.
Translation: I give it 8 out of 10 stars.