Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest  

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, 2006

You should know
I saw Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in theaters about a week after getting my wisdom teeth removed, so I wasn’t at 100% strength and desperately needed to get out. Even so, I enjoyed it very much and thought it held up to repeated viewing.

I saw this movie with Dan, as usual.

Do you remember the Matrix trilogy? An excellent, fun, popular movie that stood alone with no trouble, but that sparked the imaginations of fans who waited eagerly for a sequel? A fun but inferior sequel that was known ahead of time to be a setup for part three? A dismal, pointless conclusion that was notable only for its special effects?

Let’s just say I have a bad feeling about this trilogy.

It’s no spoiler to say that this movie sets things up for part three. To be honest, I was shocked that Dan didn’t see the ending coming, and he was as angry as he was surprised. Virtually all of the characters from the first movie returned (though I was surprised that Anamaria did not return), but they had to be reintroduced. There are no nods to the audience, just moments when the audience is grabbed by the shoulders and shaken. Jack Sparrow and friends eat up the scenery and wash it down with plenty of rum; a draw for Sparrow fans, but wearying if, like me, you’re one of the seemingly few people in the theater who isn’t there for Jack and Jack alone.

There was, of course, a spectacular swordfight, but it went on too long and was too far in the background, without nearly enough variety. The original fight, in Will Turner’s shop, was exhilarating. This one was impressive, then amusing, then… still going. And going.

See it if….
You enjoyed Black Pearl. Pirate movies are not art; this is a fact of moviegoing. And sequels are rarely as good as originals. And let’s face it, this is the sequel to a pirate movie based on an amusement park ride. Let’s face it: there’s really only so much we can expect.

Now, I said that I’m concerned about the whole Matrix factor. And that’s part of what’s bringing me down on this film: the movie was fine, but it sets you up for part three, and I just don’t have high hopes.

Then again, if they do manage to get Keith Richards to play Jack Sparrow’s father, I’ll gladly revise my expectations.

The rest of the Internet
The IMDb entry.
A fanlisting.
A Pirates quiz (I'm Jack Sparrow? How'd that happen?).
The folks at Rotten Tomatoes weren't all that impressed.
The Critical Gamers reviewed the Pirates version of Monopoly.
Super Edco at Litany of Schist loved the movie.
Jeff at Minutiae was less impressed.

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