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

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

Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Premise: A sequel to the 2003 film. Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley) must track down Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who is also being pursued by supernatural pirate Davy Jones (Bill Nighy).

What Works: The film captures most of what was good about the original film, capitalizing on Sparrow’s antics and near constant action sequences. This film fulfills most of its duties as a sequel and as the middle chapter of a trilogy, in that it steps up the conflict, makes the story more complex, and transitions into the next chapter with a cliffhanger ending.

What Doesn’t: The one area in this film that is lacking, particularly from the first film, is the character development. Johnny Depp carries the entire film on his shoulders, not because the other actors are lacking, but because the script for Dead Man’s Chest won’t let them. The film is so focused on Captain Jack that it does not bother to throw much at Will or Elizabeth in terms of obstacles or opportunities for growth until the very end of the story, and by then it is too late.

Bottom Line: Dead Man’s Chest is a good sequel, certainly better than most. It can’t reach the heights of The Empire Strikes Back or X2: X-Men United, although it does come close to that level. This film should satisfy fans of the principle actors and those who enjoyed the first film.

Note: Stay tuned at the end of credits for a post credit gag.

Episode: #103 (July 9, 2006)