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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest

Run-time: 2 hours, 31 minutes

Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Tom Hollander & Jack Davenport

As we in the United States get closer to the opening day of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I've decided to watch the original trilogy in preparation. Some of you may have seen my "DVD Challenge" for the first film, but now we're getting into the central film in the original three. I know there's many an individual who isn't terribly fond of the second and third films in the Pirates franchise, but I myself am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the Jack Sparrow saga.

I think a lot of people got a little too mired in the eccentricity of the storylines in the second and third films. Whereas it took very little imagination to suspend our disbelief for the original flick, adding the concept of Davy Jones and his "pet beastie" the Kraken asked for a little bit more of belief suspension. Originally, I was also a little put-off by the creatures on the Flying Dutchman, but after taking to some reading, I found that the latter Pirates films actually held true to basic pirate mythology. But more of that conversation will come after I re-watch At World's End.

Basically, we get another fantastic performance from Depp, although it's not quite as close to the Oscar-nominated portrayal he gives in the first film. Bill Nighy also does quite well with our villain this time around, bringing a real believability to the computer-generated Davy Jones. And as I stated in my post about my favorite Pirates characters, Jack Davenport brings another facet to his character Norrington.

Overall, we get a movie that's a little bit goofier than the original but still entertaining and engaging enough to be considered a success in my eyes. It doesn't come close to reaching or matching the original film, but it serves well as its immediate successor. It's terribly difficult to create a sequel that outdoes the original, so anyone hoping for something grander than The Curse of the Black Pearl set their standards a little too high. Dead Man's Chest is a fun and energetic film that sets up the final piece of the trilogy well. And the ending of this film still gives me chills every time I see it.

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