Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is a 2006 fantasy swashbuckler film directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Tom Hollander, and Bill Nighy.  The second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and sequel to The Curse of the Black Pearl, and follows Captain Jack Sparrow (Depp) who discovers his debt to the supernatural Captain Davy Jones (Nighy) is due.


Positives:

  • Great performances
  • Great visuals
  • Good humor
  • Great cast
  • Great characters
  • Great use of practical and make-up effects
  • Great soundtrack
  • Good story

Negatives:

  • Forced humor

Plot: The story is pretty cool.  Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones’ service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well. The story is pretty intense with a high sense of urgency as Sparrow desperately tries avoid his debt.  Also, there is a growing sense of complexity as more characters motivations become apparent.  The climatic battle between the crew of the Blackpearl and Jones’ Kraken is an awesome climax.  Another great story that sets the tone for the film is the East India Trade Company waging war against all pirates that helps to encourage the urgency. (3 out of 5)

Characters: The film features great characters, the main protagonists being Jack Sparrow (Depp), Will Turner (Bloom), and Elizabeth Swann (Knightley).  Jack is just great and there is a sense of desperation with the character as he tries to bargain his way out of his deal with Davy Jones.  Turner seeks to gain Jones’ heart to set his father free who he discovers is enslaved on the ship.  Norrington seeks the heart to gain his status back.  The main antagonists of the film are Captain Davy Jones and Lord Cutler Beckett.  Jones is just an awesome nemesis for Sparrow to take on.  He is not only dangerous, he’s powerful and has a commanding presence that (4 out of 5)

Cast:  Great job by the main and supporting cast.  Of course, Johnny Depp kills it as Sparrow.  Definitely keeps the character eccentric yet humorous.  Good performances by Orlando Bloom, Jack Davenport, and Keira Knightley.  Great performance by Bill Nighy as Davy Jones. Gave him an extremely compelling element.  Kevin McNally is also good as Gibbs. (4 out of 5)

Visuals: Just as impressive as its predecessor and even more so with Davy Jones and his fishmen crew.  Great blend of CGI, make-up, and motion capture. Davy Jones looks absolutely cool and the level of detail to the character is on point. The film has some really good set pieces; especially the ships, which look fantastic.  The action sequences are well shot and the sword fights are well choreographed.  The fight sequence between Sparrow, Norrington, and Turner is one of the best sequence of the film. (4 out of 5)

Score:   Thumbs up to the score which is phenomenal.  Hans Zimmer heads the musical composition and the film is definitely better for it.  It has a dark and creepy theme that sets the tone for the movie. (4 out of 5)

Writing: Gore Verbinski does a pretty good job of making this movie feel like a Pirates of a Caribbean movie.  It is dark and it does tell a pretty compelling story.  Verbinski does a pretty good job of managing drama, suspense, humor, and action.  One of the most memorable sequences is the final battle between the crew of the Black Pearl and the Kraken.  It is intense and suspenseful.  Another great sequence is the fight between Sparrow, Norrington, and Turner.  It is farfetched but it is well executed giving each character an equal amount of screentime. (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is a pretty sweet film.  Like it predecessor there are some issues with the pacing and humor.  However, the performances are awesome, characters great, great special effects, great action, good direction, and an awesome soundtrack.  Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest gets 4 out of 5.

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