Reviews & Previews - Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2006 at 06:00 PM

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

By: S. Tran

Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightly
Directed By: Gore Verbinski
Running Time: 143 minutes
Rated: PG-13 for action/adventure violence.

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of ...ZZZZZZZZZZZ

There is nothing terribly wrong with this movie. Plenty of good looking stars, good performance by Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, big sets, big budget special effects, lots of action and a really long title. The trouble is there is also nothing right about it either. The trouble is that the movie comes off like a Jackson Pollock painting. You feel like someone took all the elements of blockbuster and threw them on to the canvass haphazardly.

The result is an visually pleasing movie that gives you instant amnesia as soon as you leave the theatre, probably not what the producers had in mind as this second film ends in a cliffhanger to set us up for the sequel. This might explain why the movie seems incomplete. Instead of getting a story you are really getting only part of the story which isn't very satisfying when the story itself isn't very good to begin with.

Another problem is that, similar to Superman Returns, Pirates has recycled a lot of the plot elements from the first film. We get more undead pirates chasing after Sparrow who is chasing after another chest of treasure while Bloom and Knightly are back taking turns chasing each other. This isn't all that surprising given that pirate movies don't really lend themselves to much else. Despite all the running and chasing that goes on nothing gets resolved and every pursuit just seems to lead to yet another chase.

As for the acting compared to Depp's colourful character the other leads are fairly monochromatic. While Depp seems to understand the campy nature of the film, Bloom and Knightly seem to miss this. Whether this is because of the writing or their acting it makes for an uneven movie although both actors still look really good. As good as Depp is even he is not quite as effective as he was in the first film as we've seen this character already and the shininess has worn off.

While the movie lacks in the storytelling department it makes up ground in the visuals. This is a big budget film and nothing looks cheap. Every set and action sequence is well crafted and, like the rides at Disney, give you a few brief moments of fun in between the long periods of boredom waiting for your turn. I have to give special mention to the makeup artists for the great job they do with the undead pirates who look even better this time than in the first movie. Not only is the makeup effective but its also very creative and original.

All in all if you are a big fan of guys with peg legs and bad teeth go see this film and perhaps re-examine your taste in men. For the rest of us this one can wait for the DVD.


3 stars out of 5.


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