Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Yo ho, yo ho…

Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy

Director: Gore Verbinski

Plot Summary: Hoping to free his fiancé, Will Turner sets off to find Captain Sparrow and his magical compass, which leads to a fabled treasure chest. But can they fight off the Kraken and Davy Jones himself in order to claim it?

5137_Pirates_of_the_Caribbean_Official_Movie_PosterYo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me! It’s a beautiful place. Panoramic vistas of crystal-clear waters, pristine expanses of white sand, and colorful tropical plants and flowers abound. Wandering through these majestic scenes are, well, pretty dirty-looking pirates. None are more unusual that Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), the “anti-hero” of the previous film.

He possess a magical compass that a Lord of the Crown wants above all else. To ensure cooperation, he arrests Will Turner (Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) right before their wedding. Will is set free to hunt Captain Sparrow, and Swann manages to escape (with the help of her father, the Governor) and sets off after both Will and Sparrow.

Things click along thusly, with each of the main characters variously tossed together and then separated by events. The movie switches among them as they rush across the scenery, and I could have done without some of the minor sub-plots. But even with all these balls in the air the plot clicks along at warp speed, so there isn’t time to pause for breath (or much thought).

Captain Sparrow has run afoul of Davy Jones (Nighy) himself, a mystical being with a squid head and captain of a run-down but powerful ship, the crew in various stages of death. The main plot focuses on Jones and his still beating heart, encased in a chest that, once found, passes ownership between various parties until. well, until the Kraken shows up. Yes, all the running around doesn’t make much sense but it is full of energy and excitement, with ship chases, cannons going off, the famed Kraken rising up to murder and destroy, and even a chase between cannibal natives and Sparrow, who wants to avoid being the main course.

I must say with everything going on I tried to keep all the main threads of the plot straight in my mind, but Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest works against such logic and operates on your emotions. And because it is done skillfully, with solid acting (Depp is again unique as Sparrow), wonderful special effects, and a cheerful, gung-ho attitude among everyone, I can forgive them for not attempting to take anything, including itself, very seriously. Is this as good as the first film? No. But it is a very good movie and, as second movies go, not a bad offering. Shiver me timbers! (Okay, sorry. but I just had to say it!)

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