The time has finally arrived again to lick your lips and put the key in the ignition to go see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie! Like many of you, I could not wait until we got to experience another adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann - better known as Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightly.
Well, I'm not going to ruin this film in the least bit, however, I will let you know that you will not be disappointed! Director Gore Verbinski has put on a fantastic show in the sequel to the 2003 film with more action, more suspense, more special effects, more CG, and more characters.
As you probably know, Disney gave producer Jerry Bruckheimer the green light to shoot the second and third movies together. That meant getting the same writers, cast, and crew back to shoot two movies back to back. Jerry immediately got Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio to write both scripts - or at least a draft of both story lines; Ted and Terry wrote the first Pirates as well. In my opinion, they decided to make these two films have an epic feel - especially with this second one leading straight into the third film. There are many references regarding the first film, but many story lines are geared towards a third film.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest picks up a little bit after the original; Will and Elizabeth are still wanted by the police for helping Jack escape. Jack, on the other hand - well, let's just say his entrance will speak for itself. But I will say, Will and Elizabeth seek out to help Jack once again.
There are a few new characters to the game this go-round. Jack's main nemesis is the sea creature Davy Jones, played brilliantly by Bill Nighy. The CG work they did on him is incredible - he's got a sort of sea creature look to him. Bill actually described him as "half man, half crab, and half something else that's so mysterious to name." Whatever it is, it's amazing - he's got several tentacles coming out of his face - no nose, but he's got a side blow hole. And to top off his pirate-esque motif, he's equipped with a wooden peg-leg. Seeing what the artists did with Bill Nighy and Davy Jones is almost worth the price of admission alone!
Davy Jones also has somewhat supernatural powers - he can transform himself underwater into a giant octopus-killing machine, over taking whole ships and sinking them into the bottom of the ocean.
Jack has a debt to repay to Davy - after helping Jack become the captain of the Black Pearl, Davy wants his pay back now. Davy's after Jack and the Black Pearl in this adventure, and he'll stop at nothing to destroy both. Jack gets a visitor late at night on the Pearl from Bootstrap Bill Turner, Will's father. Played by Stellan Skarsgard, Bootstrap warns Jack of his impending demise, but Jack discovers a way to get out of repaying Davy - send Will to do the job.
After Jack discovers a treasure chest that is the key to getting out of his debt with Davy, his number one priority is finding out where the key is to open the chest - and then to find out where the chest is.
Bootstrap Bill also has also been deformed by the sea, and by Davy Jones - he's got muscles and clams coming out of his face. Except the difference between Stellan and Bill is Bill only had to wear spots on his face - Stellan had to be in the make-up chair for 2 hours every morning to get ready for the day's shoot.
Throughout the film, you realize how much fun Johnny Depp has with the Jack Sparrow character - his movements, his voice; his body language is just awesome, and hilarious at times. The character who changes the most from the first to the second has to be Orlando Bloom's Will Turner. You really get to see the action side of Will in this second film; in one sequence, Will, Johnny, and British military head Commodore Norrington are sword fighting on top of a moving water wheel. You also get to see Will's emotional side when he realizes he might be losing his love, Elizabeth, to Captain Jack - as Orlando pointed out to me, he was surprised by that as well - "I know, can you believe she's snogging Johnny Depp? What is going on?"
Unfortunately, we don't get to see much of Keira Knightly's performance come out in this film; she's kind of the back story, which hopefully will really shine in the third. But, it all leads up to that third film. And that's not to say she's not featured heavily in the film; she most certainly is - and she has to make a very important decision towards the end, one that could cost her Will. What I mean by my earlier statement is her story really won't get told until the third film.
If I had to pick one more negative about this film, it would have to be about halfway through the film, it feels a little slow and drawn out for about five or ten minutes. You'll know when that is - believe me, it's not really that long when you look at the entire film which is just about two and a half hours.
One thing I did notice, when Jack, Will, and some of the Black Pearl crew enter the pirate land (very reminiscent of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride), there's one spot where some guy randomly pops out of a well and spits water out of his mouth. It's very subtle, but that really got me going!
In the pirate land, they meet up with a fortune teller, Tia Dalma, played by Naomi Harris; her on-screen presence is great! She's tells Johnny and Will what they're in store for when battling Davy and his crew.
Her role is a bit small in this movie, but Naomie mentioned how she gets into the mix in the third film - "There is a huge back-story but it's all revealed in P3. You know she has her own reasons for doing what she's doing in P2. P2 is just an introduction for the character and in P3 then she's throughout, she actually goes on a journey with all the different characters." That's definitely something to look forward to - a fortune teller on a pirate adventure!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's chest is an amazing trip on land and sea that will leave you breathless at the end and waiting until next year for the third movie, World's End! I certainly can't wait to see how Ted and Terry write up the finale of the trilogy! I'm telling you - you will love this movie! Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is an absolute must-see!