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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Review

Published July 5, 2006 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Disney.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is the big summer event we’ve all been waiting for… that one movie that will disappoint our expectations more than any other. Pirates was too good to be true and we’re about to experience the one-two punch of reality.

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


This time, Will and Elizabeth are arrested for helping Jack Sparrow escape the authorities, so they have to find him so they can finally have their wedding. Meanwhile, Jack owes his soul to Davy Jones and uses Will and Liz in his ploy to continue prancing around the seas.

First of all, young love is not fun. All that crap is just taking time away from Jack Sparrow, and it’s clear they don’t really have anything for Will and Liz to do. It is the Jack Sparrow movie and they just cut to the lovers to appeal to some demographic or something.

Because of that, all of the episodes seem unconnected. Suddenly Jack appears on an island with a tribe in some conundrum, but we don’t get to see what led to this. We get told about it. Imagine the fun if that had been part of the film. Later, Will suddenly appears on another boat after escaping the cursed crew. Did they not think it was kind of an important detail to show how this transpired?

Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that all of these little segues could have contained delightful action-adventure sequences. As it is, the film is back loaded with a few cool set pieces but very sparse throughout. Instead of doing something about their quest, they just talk about honor. Why does Jack Sparrow have to be Dignified? Nobody asked for redemption here.



Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Johnny Depp returns as Jack Sparrow.
The Predator-looking pirates are no comparison to the beautiful skeleton pirates of the original. All those sea creature heads are just gross and Davy Jones’ squid face just looks like a live action Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama. The wall-man is kind of cool, kind of Labyrinth-esque. But Black Pearl was an old school swashbuckler with a few CGI sequences that looked beautiful. Now every character is some ugly walking fish and none of them are clever.

Jack Sparrow is a lot less funny this time too. It’s like there are no more moments for Johnny Depp to steal. Now that they know people like his humor, he doesn’t have to sneak it in. Probably, there’s some exec on the set telling him, “Do this, now do that, and try this…” and he’s listening to them.

It’s not all bad. The few clever action scenes are much bigger set pieces than anything in the original, though they’re still muddied with obnoxious slapstick and bickering. Worst of all, the tradeoff is that in between them, they didn’t bother to keep the pace up.

They updated the ride references. Now the guys in the cell are reaching for something other than the key. But man, the idea of doing a Pirates movie with so little action is mind boggling.

The length wouldn’t be a problem if it were consistent throughout. I had no problem with three hours of King Kong. They claim it’s only six minutes longer than the original. Maybe Dead Man’s Chest without credits is six minutes longer than Black Pearl with credits, but the credit-less body of the sequel is two hours and 27 minutes. The original is 2:13. That 145 minute running time on the DVD box includes credits. Liars.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Disney.
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