Anthony's Film Review
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Despite less action, it's a fun-filled sequel with excellent production design...
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is nearly as good as The Curse of the Black Pearl. It doesn't mean they're similar. On the contrary, you will be disappointed if you expect Dead Man's Chest to be a repeat of Black Pearl. Think of the original Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. The former is an exciting swashbuckling adventure, and the latter is a darker sequel with half the action but more depth in story and surprises along the way. That's what you can expect with this second Pirates movie.
The principal cast from the first movie are back and just as likable. Johnny Depp continues to bring a humorous performance to Jack Sparrow, the goofy pirate with the personality of a drag queen. Orlando Bloom is back as the heroic and brave Will Turner. Keira Knightley returns as the beautiful Elizabeth Swann, who also has another tougher side during the film's action scenes. The first film was great because these characters are unique and memorable. They help the sequel work for the same reason.
The plot involves a merge of two separate ones. The tyrannical Lord of Port Royal wants a certain object from Jack Sparrow and is willing to go as far as to punish Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann with death. Jack Sparrow, now Captain of the Black Pearl, has to pay a debt in the form of his soul because the ship came from under the sea. The central villain here is Captain Davy Jones, a molluscan pirate with an octopus-like face. What keeps the whole thing going (sort of a MacGuffin, to use a little film jargon) is the Dead Man's Chest. The revelation isn't necessarily the contents of it, but what it means for at least two of the characters.
There is only about half as much action compared to The Curse of the Black Pearl, but the action that is there is exciting and sometimes funny. The film still has outstanding production and costume design that really takes one back in time to another world. I also like the wit and creativity of the dialogue. Let's not forget the special effects. Whether the characters are encountering the hideous crew of Captain Davy Jones or fighting a giant Kraken, the CGI makes it worthwhile.
I'll add one more thing. With regards to the script, it moves you along but also surprises you near the end. In fact, the final shot of the film, with its open ending, is the biggest surprise of all. You can tell that the filmmakers already planned the third Pirates film as they were making this one. They gambled that this one would be good enough for the audience to return for the next film. They were right. I liked the film for the reasons I mentioned above and made a mental note to see the next one.
For more information about Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my review of the following:
The Pirates of the Caribbean Films