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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Movie Review

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

Rent Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest on Amazon Video (paid link)
Written by: Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Stuart Beattie and Jay Wolpert (characters)
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Mackenzie Crook, Stellan Skarsgård, Naomie Harris
Rated: PG-13
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Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones’ service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well.

This is an often typical cash-in sequel. The story is very similar to the first movie, inserting a different curse this time. The character that carried the first movie, Jack Sparrow, has a reduced role to account for a larger budget that includes more CGI and characters for no real reason other than they could. While the movie is never close to the first and does a poor job of establishing characters, the absolute void of an ending might be the worst part. This movie comes as close as it can to stating we didn’t finish this movie just to force you to see the sequel so we can make even more money.
Skip it.

This is the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. It’s a movie based on a Disney ride that ended up being quite good. It had a solid story and intriguing characters. The sequel recycles the story and does no favor to the characters. Dead Man’s Chest relies on extensive CGI to cover the faults and flaws. 

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) carried the first movie, and in this movie he’s a secondary character as there’s just a lot of ‘stuff’ in this one. The first few scenes illustrate this, featuring Will (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth (Kiera Knightley). They feel like an add on as it’s strange place to start, and the next sequence with Jack escaping captivity on an island seems like a better and more exciting way to open the movie.

Bill Nighy with extensive CGI plays Captain Davy Jones

The first movie featured a crew of undead pirates. This movie features a crew of cursed pirates that resemble different ocean animals led by the octopus faced Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). The CGI of that face always look amazing. Of course Jack owes a debt to Captain Jones and that’s the plot for this movie as Jack tries to escape his fate.

Jones’s crew all look quite menacing with crab hands, shark heads, or the like except for Will’s father who also is part of this crew. He has a starfish on the side of his head. It seems like quite an insult when every other member of the crew looks so scary.

Jack Davenport, Orlanda Bloom, Keira Knightley, Johnny Depp play Norrington,Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Jack Sparrow

The first movie was a quirky adventure with the comedy derived from the scenery chewing Jack in mostly grounded situations and his reactions to them. This one leans too much into that with Jack in rather audacious situations, robbing the movie of the dynamic of the comedic Jack playing against other serious characters. That and there’s just not enough Jack.

Will is out to find Jack to save himself and Elizabeth which then becomes them after Davy Jones to help Jack.

This certainly has a larger budget and there is more of everything, more characters, another cursed crew, and a sprawling sword fight inside, outside, and even on a wheel. The movie is passable with a flimsy story and plenty of big set pieces. It’s the typical big budget bloated sequel, but the ending is disappointing. It stops and tells us to tune in next movie for any semblance of a conclusion.

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