Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Review

When I walked into the theatre to see Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, I can honestly say I wasn't expecting too much. I mean, it was a film based upon an amusement park ride for cripes sack, so how much depth can you expect. Well, I was pleased to discover how wrong I was. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl featured great characters, a simple yet intriguing plot, and some excellent, humorous screenwriting. Which is why I find it rather sad to say that the sequel does not deliver in the same fashion as the original.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest truly is a sequel hoping to simply recopy the original with some changes thrown in to try and feel fresh. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest relies a great deal on coincidence and happy chance to make its plot work. The majority of the first film's characters are reunited, mostly through strange, convienent chance, and they embark on a mission that doesn't happen to have a lot of substance behind it.

Capt. Jack Sparrow is looking for a chest, however it's not filled with gold, and an evil British dude whose name I could never remember seeing as how he was the rather uninteresting drab villian type also wants said chest, so he's holding Elizabeth hostage to blackmail Will Turner into getting Jack's compass for him. Why? Because Jack's compass, which pointed to the mysterious isle in the first film, can apparently point to other places as well (such as to something to do with the above chest). The compass was a convention that made sense within the context of the first film, however the chessy way they "enhanced" it for the sequel smacks of BS to me. Ultimately Jack and Will team up again and are pitted against Davy Jones and the crew of the Flying Dutchman, and I must say that squid-faced Davy and his dumbass fish crew don't have the simple, human flaw and therefore believability of Barbossa and his humourous yet detemined undead crew from the first film.

The whole story is such a stretch, leading from one rehashed joke or chance encounter to the next, that I honestly found myself rolling my eyes at many points. Not only that, but the pacing simply keeps dragging on and on, and by the end, you know it could have been 30 minutes shorter and benefited from it.

Not that the film is truly done, mind you. As many other film trilogies are beginning to do, the sequel ends on a cliffhanger that will lead directly into the third installment. For my own part, I'll probably see it just to see how a certain plot point turns out, but I hope it flows much better than the dead-in-the-water sequel.

So, if you're expecting to find a film on par with 2003's excellent Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, you won't be finding it in the sequal. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest simply had trouble getting out of port, and then floated around going no where fast.

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