Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Dead Man's Chest

Even the Saturday night shows were sold out in this little town! 2 screens, still sold out. Finally managed to get 10:20 PM tickets - and get in 40 mins early for seats. Alright, this is nothing compared to my Star Wars III wait, but this is also a tiny ass college town and it's summer!

Pirates  Superstar rebel Johnny Depp reprises his role as pirate captain Jack Sparrow, excelling one more time as the comic swashbuckler. Orlando Bloom and the gorgeous Kiera Knightley return as Will Turner the blacksmith and Elizabeth Swann the governor's daughter respectively. As a reminder, the first movie ended with Sparrow escaping death sentence and redeeming his ship with a new crew.

However, in the Dead Man's Chest, he's in more than a spot of bother trying to keep his crew happy and coming across an unexpected old enemy in tentacled pirate Davey Jones. Another cursed villain, but this time he's got an octopus head and lobster claws. Jones' entire crew is also a bunch of cursed, stupefied aqua-men. Sounds similar to the first movie and Barbossa?  Maybe. But scarier. We could handle skeletons better than fishbone sea-phantoms and rotten gills. Davey Jones is played by versatile English actor Bill Nighy who gets to speak his cockney with liberty. Not as brutal as his role in Underworld (Viktor), but pissed off enough.

Another character introduced in this movie is Will Turner's estranged father - "Boostraps" Bill Turner, played well but not at his best by Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard. Turner, Sr. also happens to be a member of Davey Jones' crew and is enlisted among the sea-phantoms' roster.

The movie as a whole was entertaining and delightful. More mature than the first one, as in more killings and brutality. Beautiful scenic locales, cannibals, voodoo psych and more involvement of the East India Trading Company form some of the highlights of this sequel. Of course there's the usual sword-fighting, ship to ship canon firing and Kiera speaking seductive lines in her sexy London accent.

What this movie could have used to make it better is a map every time our heroes go to a new island/region. They're shown to sail all over the tropical Atlantic and a map even of make believe islands would have enhanced viewing.

However, I still rate the movie an 8/10, half a point less than it's predecessor. A great summer entertainer: timely wisecracks, brilliant acting by Depp and Knightley, expert special effects and eye candy locales will be make for a delightful evening at the theater. Oh yea, you can even go see the late show and stay up throughout even if you're a morning person! 

Warning: This sequel is more horrifying and creepy. Avoid buttered popcorn unless you like it all over your face.

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