PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST (2006) ***
Like the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, this sequel is overlong and overcooked, but is anchored once again by a great performance by Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. This time he’s searching for the key to open Davy Jones’ Locker to save himself from an evil curse. Jones (Shawn of the Dead’s Bill Nighy), a squid faced peg legged pirate and his crew go after Sparrow after he and his cohorts (Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly) steal the key. There’s a lot of duplicitous double crossing and scheming that gets in the way of some great effects. Jones’ crew of barnacled buccaneers, crustacean crewmembers and mollusk maties are awesomely realized by some great make-up and CGI, as is their vicious killer octopus the Kracken (who hasn’t gotten a lot of work since his appearance in Clash of the Titans). There’s also a handful of stunning stunt sequences like Sparrow’s escape from a cannibal tribe and a swordfight atop a giant rolling wheel.
As with the first film, the stuff in between the stunts and CGI is pretty thin (and has little to do with the timeless Disney theme park ride), but Depp’s out there performance is the real reason to watch. The greatest part of the first movie was Sparrow’s introduction, and his first appearance in this film is equally memorable. And no matter what the film’s shortcomings are, any film that ends with it’s main character being swallowed up by an octopus’ orifice is okay by me. (The obvious set up for Part 3, which was filmed back to back.) Co-starring Jonathan Pryce, Naomi Harris, Stellan Skarsgard.
When the film premiered, Disney blasphemously changed their wonderfully enduring ride to incorporate Sparrow and his cronies. YO HO NO!