Quick Hit – Fun, with a terrific set of antogonists, you slowly start to feel a bit overwhelmed by it all.
From the start of this film, you know that you are back in the world we left in the last one. It doesn’t take long for new characters to be introduced, and it’s extremely easy to hate them. First, there is Lord Beckitt (played by Tom Hollander), who it’s clear is as evil as it gets. He’s had run-ins with Jack Sparrow before (though this isn’t fully explained). There’s also Davy Jones (played terrifically by Bill Nighy), a creature straight from the depths of the sea, who has now taken to searching for Jack in order to fulfill a bargain they once had.
All of this is delivered in the typical manic style of the Pirates series. There are so many Rube Goldbergian type activities in the fight scenes (specifically on the scene on the island) that you’re head starts to spin. However, Verbinski once again shows the ability to pivot between these scenes and some of the quieter ones. I wouldn’t say that the skill is as pronounced as the last film, and at times, we may get caught up in the score and the slap-stick action and just allow the wheel to roll.
Still focusing on the story of Will and Elizabeth, we start to see some cracks form. That’s because Will is now after rescueing his father, Bootstrap Bill (Stellan Skarsgård). There’s nothing wrong with the storyline, and Skarsgård turns in a fantastically creepy yet moving performance. It’s just that everything makes things feel overstuffed. There are so many storylines, and only some of them are interesting. I for one find the story of Jones most interesting – I want to know more about his backstory instantly, and Nighy sells the scare factor. The effects are amazing, with Jones using the tentacles as other appendages in a completely natural way.
The main selling point for the film continues to be Depp, with Sparrow always being a welcome breath of fresh air every time he is on screen. His humor and delivery is incredibly on point, and never once do you seem bored by him. The originality continues throughout the film, even to the point of his final demise with the Kraken.
That being said, I didn’t really like the total feel of this one. I found out while doing research that POC2 and POC3 were shot back to back, and that makes complete sense. It feels like this film is trying to do all the work of setting up a Pirates cinematic universe – it’s tying itself back to the first film, but it’s also trying to get the base for a third film. It makes things confusing, and means character storylines that could be much better (Lord Beckitt and Norrington) feel a bit extraneous.
Overall, Dead Man’s Chest was a nice addition to the franchise, in that it introduced characters like Davy Jones who are worth remembering. But, it suffers from being the bridging film in a trilogy, and that’s why it is only going to get a “B-“ from me.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"