Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest

No expense has been spared by Uncle Walt’s folk for Johnny Depp’s charismatic return as Captain Jack Sparrow in this funny and action packed sequel.

The wedding of Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) is interrupted when they are both threatened with the death sentence. Their only hope is to do a deal and to track down that crazy punk pirate Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Plain sailing is interrupted, continually, by the amazing squid-faced Davey Jones (Bill Nighy) and his grotesque crew of barnacled Bills.

They say:

Rolling Stone: “You won’t find hotter action, wilder thrills or loopier laughs this summer.”

Los Angeles Times: “Intermittently fun and high-spirited, Dead Man’s Chest sags under the weight of its own running time.”

We say:

When the opening sequence includes a caged prisoner having his eyes poked out by a scavenging crow you know that Walt Disney movies have changed since Snow White.

This is family entertainment with a dark side and more than the odd bit of adult behaviour, erotic and even sadistic at times.

No one is odder here than Johnny Depp’s weird, subversive, camp and very funny Jack Sparrow. Depp repeats his strangely original characterization of the pirate captain, mincingly incompetent but ahead of the game, sexually ambiguous, worldly but with the all-inclusive curiosity of a child. It is a masterful performance, which walks, perilously, along a tightrope, Buster Keaton style, between heroics and slapstick.

Director Gore Verbinski may have a giant treasure chest for his second Pirates movie but all the familiar ingredients are repeated:

Increasingly attractive Keira Knightley and ever-earnest Orlando Bloom return as the love interest; spectacular sea battles are shot brilliantly with sensational special effects: the script continually delights in sending itself and the whole genre of adventure films sky high with enough of a plot, just, to hold the whole romp together.

Bill Nighy, barely recognizable under the fantastic tentacle-waving mask, is outstanding amongst the excellent cast. He captures the pathos as well as the menace of Davey Jones, the love-lorn, organ-playing villain cursed to sail the seas for eternity with a crew of barnacle-crusted zombies.

Can’t wait to see them all at Disney World.

Cert 12A

Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy

Gore Verbinski

Running time:
2 hrs 31 mm

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