Tuesday, July 11, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Jack Sparrow is back and I am a sucker for swashbuckler films. Films like Mutiny on the Bounty, Treasure Island, Master and Commander and even though it wasn't filmed on the open sea, The Goonies--come on it's about Pirates--And of course I loved the original Pirates film. I read a few early reviews on this one and it wasn't sounding very good. Entertainment Weekly, Variety and Salon.com seemed to be bored by the film, personally I thought it was everything a summer popcorn movie should be.

It starts off dark enough with poor Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and her betrothed Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) being arrested for aiding the wobbly footed pirate we all love, on the eve of their wedding, by a very sinister Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) of the East India Trading Company. Beckett releases Will on the condition that he brings back Captain Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp) north challenged compass for the pardon of Elizabeth. This movie is chock full of plot, between cannibal natives, voodoo witchdoctors, a father/son reunion, and a soul taking squid man. The infamous Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) wants Jack Sparrow's soul and he uses all manner of creature above and below the sea to do just that. I loved all the various crustaceous creatures that Davy Jones has aboard his ship the Flying Dutchman. They all seem to have pieces of corral reef, conch shells, crabs, and shrimp falling off or attaching on to each and every crewmember of the Dutchman, but my favorite was the first mate who has the head of a hammerhead shark, very cool. It was great to see pretty much all of the supporting cast from the previous film all ready to hoist the main sail on the Black Pearl once more. Like the surly crewmate Gibbs (Kevin McNally), who does more than enough arghhs to prove this is an official pirate film. You also see the return of the comic relief pirates Pintel (Lee Arenberg) and Ragetti (Mackenzie Crook) as well as Commodore Norrington (Jack Davenport) who makes an almost unrecognizable return. Of course what trilogy would be complete without the Father Son dynamic and a little bit of Star Wars referencing, if you didn't see the film I would suggest you not read any further.***SPOILER**** Bootstrap Bill Turner (Stellan Skarsgard) gets his chance to play a variation of Darth Vader to Will's Luke Skywalker. His face looks about as pretty as Darth's.

Overall the film was a little long and the sword fight sequence with the water wheel went on a bit longer than it should have but other than that I enjoyed this film greatly. Gore Verbinski has outdone himself visually from the first film; the effects were spectacular as well as the cinematography. This film continued the legacy of the first film adding a wider more worldly expansion to the story and to the characters themselves. I won't give it away but you will get a nice surprise at the end of the film, and of course do not expect a complete ending this is after all The Empire Strikes Back of this trilogy, so it will end with a pretty big cliffhanger. It was so fun it made me want to go rent a boat on the Hudson and hit the High seas--I can't wait for Pirates of the Caribbean: At the World's End.

Grade: 4 Buckets

No comments: