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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Every once in a while, you see a movie that has enough entertainment value to win you over, in spite of numerous flaws. Dead Man’s Chest is one of those movies. It is more a series of amusing vignettes than a film. That said I still had a hell of a good time.

The film lacks a cohesive storyline. In fact, you might even say that the plot gets in the way of the magnificent fight scenes. Basically, in this movie, the legendary Davy Jones is alive with an octopus-face and a hard-on for revenge against Captain Jack Sparrow. His heart is somewhere in a chest. He who controls the chest controls the sea (since Davy Jones also controls the Kraken, a very nasty beast the size of a small island). Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, Captain Jack, Davy and various other characters pay tribute to It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World as they race around like stooges trying to find the buried treasure.

Johnny Depp prances and minces his way through the film as Captain Jack Sparrow. His character is still fun to watch. Less fun is Orlando Bloom, whose second-rate Eroll Flynn schtick is getting a little tired. I know that Orlando Bloom is a talented actor; I just didn’t enjoy watching him in this film. Similarly, Keira Knightly, while being extremely easy on the eyes in her uber-hot pirate clothes, phones in her performance as Elizabeth. Characters I did like: Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap, Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead) as Davy Jones, and the incredibly hot Naomie Harris (28 Days Later) as a voodoo priestess named Tia Dalma. I especially loved the makeup and CGI that turned Davy Jones’ crew into half-men, half-sea-creatures. I’ve never seen urchin-faced pirates before! Furthermore, some of the scenes are so ingeniously constructed, they stand alone as great achievements. One scene, featuring Depp's escape from a cannibal tribe, is so amazing to watch that you almost forget that it has nothing to do with the plot of the film.

All in all, I am really looking forward to the third installment (due out next year). Although this second installment is nowhere near as good as the first, it’s still a fun ride.

The amount I’d pay to see this: $6

concept drawings from Dead Man's Chest


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