Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

I’ve got a jar of dirt…


Pirates, god bless them, they’ve always held a special place in my heart, I blame Adam Ant for that. Then there’s Johnny Depp, who, as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest rightly points out, is a God in human form. How could I fail not to enjoy this film?

Quite simply, and obviously, I did enjoy it.

This is not to say that there aren’t problems with the film, it’s not the perfect peach of a movie that the first one was. It could be because no-one expected the first one to be done so well, whereas expectations were much higher this time round. It’s not entirely that, but it could be. If you squinted and wished it were true.

The movie starts with clumsy exposition, as it tries to get bring you up to speed on events as quickly as possible so it can roll up its sleeves and get to work. This can leave you feeling a little bewildered, as it seems to make little sense. The plot, or rather plots, speed along like a mad thing, as the characters follow their own selfish needs, creating a film with no real heroes. But it rushes over things that could just have been helped with maybe one or two choice pieces of dialogue. And just why is Elizabeth Swan sat in the rain like that on her wedding day?

And unfortunately Keira and Orlando, pretty though they are, seem content to give one-note performances. Both can act and both gave some depth to their rather basic characters in the first, so why no development here? And why does the guy playing Pintel insist upon mugging and gurning as though he was in a provincial pantomime?

Thankfully, the rest of the cast are superb, Jack Davenport’s Norrington having a rightful air of pride lost and regained. Tom Hollander being superbly menacing as the world’s first CEO. Bill Nighy’s Davey Jones is a masterpiece of twitches and scowls. So good, I swear he actually grew those tentacles.

And the special effects, on the whole, cannot be faulted. The Davey Jones crew can be a bit confusing as you try to work out which sea creature is which, but the Kraken is just wonderful. If evil.

And then there’s Captain Jack Sparrow.

The film almost fizzles whenever he is on screen, it’s such a damn fine and well-rounded performance. He also gets all the best lines. All of them. Every single good line is delivered by Captain Jack Sparrow. And rightly so.

There are comparisons to be made to the Star Wars trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean is definitely borrowing heavily from The Empire Strikes Back. But if you are going to steal from a trilogy (and what else would a pirate really do?) then you might as well steal from one of the best.

As long as we don’t get little sea urchin style Ewoks in the third one, everything will be fine.