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

As promised (thanks to a twitter poll) I am bringing you reviews of all the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies because the new one which can’t choose a fucking title is out. I already reviewed “Curse of the Black Pearl”, so now I am bringing you a review of the second movie. So let’s just get into it!

Me mateys… “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”!

Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) are about to be married, but their wedding gets interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) because they helped a certain pirate in the previous movie. To redeem them, Will has to find Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and fetch his compass for Beckett. And while all of this is going on, Jack is getting into even more trouble when he finds out that legendary pirate Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) is coming for him. So we have a lot of moving parts in this, and question is… does it work? For the most part, yeah. While there are a lot of things going on, it only borders on feeling convoluted. Really, the plot for the most part works. I say “for the most part” because about 20 minutes into the movie we get a section that has no real bearing on the rest of the plot. Sure, there’s some fun to be had, but it has no real purpose other than extending the runtime, which actually kind of messes with the overall flow of the movie/plot, and that kind of bugs me. So while I don’t mind most of the plot, there’s that section around 20 minutes in that brings it down for me. Again, kind of fun, but overall has no real purpose.

The characters in this movie are all entertaining and for the most part quite interesting. Johnny Depp is once again really good as Jack Sparrow, even though he’s up to a few too many silly antics in this movie… most of them around the dipping point I mentioned earlier, hmm. But he’s still fun. Keira Knightley is once again great as Elizabeth Swan. What I liked the most about her character is that she got to do a lot more in this movie, and be a more active part of the cast, showing what a clever character she is. Orlando Bloom once again played Will Turner, the generic handsome hero guy. But you know what, I appreciated his character a bit more in this one because they start introducing things relating to his past, giving him some more weight and making him a slightly more interesting character, and Orlando Bloom is really good in the role. Kevin McNally returns as Jack’s right hand man, Gibbs, and he’s once again good in the role. Jack Davenport returned to play James Norrington, this time stripped of his fancy fucking title and wig, and instead becomes a more compelling and also rugged character. Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook return as comic relief characters Pinel & Ragetti, and they’re once again pretty fun. Jonathan Pryce returns as Elizabeth’s dad, and he’s ocne again great. Now, on to the newcomers! Tom Hollander plays Beckett, the man who sent Will to find Jack’s compass, and he’s just the most smug dick I’ve ever seen in a movie, and Hollander does a great job. Bill Nighy plays Davy Jones, the legendary pirate who also happens to be a squidman. And while there’s ham in Nighy’s performance, I feel like that’s the only way the character could be played, it is really the perfect performance for the character. We also got Stellan Skarsgård as Bootstrap Bill, the father of Will Turner, which is what made Will’s character more compelling. And Skarsgård is great in the role. Really, there are a lot of solid performances on display here.

The score for the movie was composed by the great Hans Zimmer and he did a phenomenal job with it. Sure, there’s some of the familiar tunes from the first movie, but he also created some original pieces that were big, loud, epic, dramatic, haunting, and just plain awesome. And I have to mention it, the track called “The Kraken” is the best track to come out of this franchise. That’s right, the middle child gave us the best song, whoop-de-fucking-do.

Like the first one, this movie was directed by Gore Verbinski and I think he once again did a really good job. The shots look great and he just has a good sense of scope. This really is a beautiful movie, and I’m not just saying that because of the tropical locations, this is a good looking movie. And the action, while really fucking ridiculous at times, is really fun. And the CGI in this movie… fantastic. The way that Davy Jones’ crew looks, with all of them being part man, part sea creature, it looks amazing. And when they choose to introduce the Kraken in the movie, holy shit, it’s badass. It’s a big and fancy effect that looks great. Really, from a visual standpoint this is a great movie.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 53/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10. The movie won 1 Oscar in the category of Best visual effects. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best art direction, Best sound mixing, and Best sound editing.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is a good follow-up to the awesome first movie, even if it isn’t as good. It has a good plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, really good directing, and great visual effects. My flaw with it is that dipping point around the 20 minute mark. Time for my final score. *Shoots undead monkey*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is a 9,23/10. So while it’s flawed, I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is now completed.

2 down, 2 to go.

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