Length: 151 minutes
Release Date: July 07, 2006
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Genre: Action / Adventure / Fantasy
The original “Pirates of the Caribbean” film trilogy has become a beloved staple of the adventure genre, and the three films are often regarded as modern classics. The second installment in the trilogy, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” promises that the supernatural pirate adventures of Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann are far from over. As Will and Elizabeth are about to be married, they are arrested for helping Jack Sparrow to escape the gallows. To earn their freedom, they must find Jack and face the infamous Davy Jones, captain of the legendary Flying Dutchman.
After the adventurous events involving undead pirates that occurred in the last film, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) were finally about to be married when they were rudely interrupted by Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander). The newcomer has them arrested on the charges of conspiring to free a convicted pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). The two are taken into captivity, but Lord Beckett tells Will that he will grant them freedom if he brings him Jack’s compass. Will then sets out to locate Jack and the Black Pearl, Jack’s black-sailed ship.
Meanwhile, Jack and his crew find an illustration of a valuable key, and they set out to find the precious item. However, Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgård), an old crew member of Jack’s who was thrown to the depths of the ocean during a mutiny, makes an unexpected appearance. Bootstrap lets him know that he stills owes a debt with Davy Jones. A curse is then laid on Jack Sparrow, and the frightened captain heads to shore immediately to escape being hunted down by the mighty Kraken.
When Will finds Jack and helps him escape from the cannibalistic natives on a remote island, Jack agrees to help on the condition that Will helps him with another task. After seeking the aid of a voodoo priestess, they locate the Flying Dutchman, and Jack sends Will on board to settle his debt. The octopus-like Davy Jones enlists Will Turner as a member of his aquatic, bloodthirsty crew. However, the captain tells Jack that his debt has not been settled. Will, Jack and Elizabeth must go to great lengths to get themselves out of their unfortunate situations and somehow come out on top.
Although the first film is widely regarded as the best of the trilogy, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” offers up its fair share of clever action sequences, terrifying creatures, funny dialogue and fantastical pirate adventures. Director Gore Verbinski expertly pleases fans of the first film while continuing the adventure and preparing audiences for the next installment. Unlike the first film, the story as a whole does not work well as a standalone plot. This makes the film weaker as a whole. The feeling of continuation introduced by the opening scenes and the halting cliffhanger at the end work in the movie’s favor, creating a sense of epic adventure.
Like the first film, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” offers the ideal balance of adventure, humor and horror. Audiences are sure to laugh out loud during the hilarious antics of Jack Sparrow and the natives on the island chase scene, and the interactions between Jack and his crew are full of witty dialogue. Concerning darker parts of the film, however, the sadistic, cruel Davy Jones and his crew are the stuff of nightmares. Although the resulting film may not be appropriate for children, the style has become incredibly popular with adult fans of action and adventure films.
The colorful, beautifully detailed world of pirates and engaging plot are important aspects of the film, but the talented cast of actors that bring it to life are just as vital. Johnny Depp is hilarious and charming as the offbeat Captain Jack Sparrow, a self-centered pirate whose random acts of heroism make him one of the most popular characters in cinematic history. Bloom and Knightley are passionate and convincing in their portrayals, demonstrating electrifying on-screen chemistry. The introduction of Bill Nighy as Davy Jones is a positive turn for the film. The actor’s voice and emotional performance combine perfectly with the CG elements of the character.
Although it is weaker than the first film, this installment is widely regarded as a better production than “Pirates of the Carribean: At World’s End,” the third film in the series, as well as the spin-off “Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides.” “Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest” is not as groundbreaking as its predecessor, but it is still an entertaining adventure that will surely be enjoyed by fans for many years to come.
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