So with Pirates Of The Caribbean being as popular as it was, a sequel obviously had to happen. So in 2004, writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio wrote up not one, but two sequels in order to make a trilogy of movies. When I heard about the sequel, I had only one concern and that was whether this would fall victim to the sequel curse like most other sequels. Guess the only way you will find out is for me to write up the review for today’s movie, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
The plot: On the wedding day of Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, British soldiers led by Lord Cutler Beckett arrest Will and Elizabeth for helping Captain Jack Sparrow escape. Meanwhile, Jack Sparrow escapes from an island prison by hiding in coffin that is tossed into the sea, then using the leg of the skeleton inside to paddle the canoe to the Black Pearl. Back on the ship, Gibbs warns Jack that the crew is getting anxious about finding some treasure and Jack goes to show them what he grabbed from the island only for it to be stolen by Barbossa’s cursed monkey. After Jack shoots the monkey, one of his crew picks up the paper, which shows the drawing of a key, and Jack says they are going after the key so they can unlock the chest the key goes to but when he tries to use his compass to get a heading, it doesn’t seem to be working. That night, Jack goes down into the hold to get some more rum and sees Will’s father, Bootstrap Bill, waiting for him. Bootstrap says that he is now part of Davey Jones’ crew and says that Jack’s time is up and he must pay the debt that he owes to Davey Jones and gives Jack the Black Spot, which he says will draw the Kraken to him. When Bootstrap leaves, Jack wakes the crew and has them make for land but during the commotion, the monkey steals Jack’s hat and throws it into the sea but though Gibbs and the crew want to turn around and grab it, Jack says to ignore it and head for land. The hat floats on the water until it is picked up by some men on a boat but as the men each try it on, their ship is suddenly sucked underwater. Back in Port Royal, Beckett has Will brought to him and offers him a deal, bring Jack Sparrow’s compass to him and he will pardon both Will and Elizabeth. Will goes down to the jail to inform Elizabeth of the deal and though Elizabeth has faith in Will, her father does not have faith in Jack doing what is right and wants to make his own plans. Will starts his search in Tortuga, asking around about Jack and learns that the Black Pearl was sighted on a beach not far from there. Will makes his way to the island and ends up being captured by the natives and brought to their village, where the natives worship Jack as a god and Will tells Jack why he is there but Jack has Will sent away, but whispers for Will to save him. Back in Port Royal, Gov. Swann has Elizabeth taken out of jail and tries to smuggle her to England but the captain he is friends with is killed and Gov. Swann is captured but Elizabeth escapes. She makes her way to Beckett and agrees to go help Will find the compass. On the island, Will is placed in a cage with Gibbs and the others and they try to escape before the other members of the crew get there first and sail off without them but the other crew ends up falling to their death and alerting a nearby guard. Back in the camp, the tribe is preparing to cook Jack but when the guard tells the tribe that the crew is escaping, the leave Jack and go after the crew and Jack is able to escape himself. Will and the others manage to get to safety and head for the Pearl, where they find Pintel and Ragetti (former members of Barbossa’s crew) getting it ready to sail and they are soon joined by Jack, who is being chased by the tribe but they all manage to sail off to safety. On board, Will confronts Jack about the compass and Jack says that to save Elizabeth, they need to find the key and the chest it goes too, and tells Gibbs to head up river so they can go see Tia Dalma, a voodoo priestess Jack is acquainted with. Reaching her hut, Tia Dalma is drawn to Will, saying he has a destiny about him but Jack steers her away from Will and says they need to find the key. When Tia Dalma hears that the compass isn’t working for Jack, she laughs about the fact that he doesn’t know what he wants. She then tells the story of Davey Jones and says that he placed his heart in there after he fell in love with a woman. Seeing that Jack has the black spot placed on him, Tia Dalma gives him a jar of dirt, saying that it will keep him safe, then tells them where they can find Davey Jones’ ship, the Flying Dutchman. Arriving at the site, they find a wrecked ship and Will heads over to try and find the key but is surprised when the Dutchman appears and the surviving people on the ship are captured, including Will. Davey Jones appears and offers the people a choice of serving with him or dying but when he comes to Will, Will tells him that Jack Sparrow sent him to settle his debts. Davey Jones then appears in front of Jack on the Pearl and speaks with Jack and Jack is able to bargain 100 souls against his own and Davey Jones gives him 3 days to do it. Jack heads to Tortuga to hire a new crew and one of the men he hires is James Norrington, the former Commodore that had lost his ship and commission while chasing Jack and is now a drunkard. Norrington tries to shoot Jack, which starts a bar fight and while Jack and Gibbs use the fight to sneak out, Elizabeth shows up, having stowed away on a merchant ship, and helps Norrington before knocking him out herself. Later, Elizabeth and Norrington head to the Pearl and Elizabeth asks Jack what happened to Will. He tells her he is on the Dutchman and says the only way to save him is to find the Dead Man’s Chest, and when he convinces her of that, he hands her the compass and it points out where the chest is. Back on the Dutchman, Will is reunited with his father, who explains how the crew came to serve on the Dutchman. Will observes the crew playing Liar’s Dice, where the bet years of servitude, and he challenges Davey Jones to a game, wagering an eternity of servitude against the key. Davey Jones accepts and as they start to play, Bootstrap joins in, matching Will’s wager and ends up losing. When Will asks why, Bootstrap says he didn’t want Will to suffer that fate and Will says he merely wanted to use the game to locate where the key was. That night, Will manages to steal the key from Davey Jones while he sleeps, then Bootstrap helps him escape, giving him a knife as a memento, and Will promises to find Davey Jones heart and stab it with Bootstrap’s knife to free him from his servitude. Will is picked up by the same merchant ship that Elizabeth had stowed away on and finds her wedding dress there but as he is asking the captain about it, the Dutchman appears behind them and Davey Jones the Kraken out to destroy the ship. Will manages to survive and hides on the Dutchman as the ship heads to the island where the heart is buried. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Jack flirt with each other, as Jack says that they are alike because she is curious about being a pirate while Elizabeth counters that Jack will want to do the right thing. When they reach the island, Jack, Elizabeth, Norrington, Pintel, and Ragetti head ashore to look for the chest but they are spotted by Davey Jones, who sends his crew to retrieve the chest as he can not go ashore himself. Jack, Elizabeth, and Norrington find the chest and are surprised to see Will there and he explains that he is there to free his father but as he goes to open the chest, Jack pulls out his sword to stop him. Will grabs Elizabeth’s sword to defend himself and Norrington joins the fight as well, wanting to take the heart to Beckett to regain his life. The three men fight over the key and as Elizabeth yells at them, Pintel and Ragetti decide to take the chest for themselves and Elizabeth sees them and chases after them. Jack, Will, and Norrington’s fight takes them to a church and Jack manages to grab the key and convince Norrington that Will is the reason for what happened to him and Norrington agrees and starts attacking Will. As the two fight, the end up on the church’s water wheel and knock it loose, causing it to start rolling and Jack gets caught inside it. Meanwhile, Elizabeth catches up to Pintel and Ragetti and they draw their swords on her but before they can attack, they are distracted by the site of Will, Norrington, and Jack on the water wheel before they are attacked by Davey Jones crew. They fend off the crew but lose the chest in the process but Jack, who had grabbed the key and fallen off the wheel, manages to get the chest back. Jack heads to the boat and takes the heart out of the chest and hides it in his jar of dirt but gets drawn into the fight as well. Norrington eventually makes it to the boat and finds Beckett’s pardon papers and, seeing the dirt scattered in the boat, realizes what Jack has done and takes the heart himself, then leads Davey Jones crew away from the others by grabbing the chest and running. Jack and the others head back to the Pearl but are soon chased by the Dutchman. They manage to outrun it but Davey Jones summons the Kraken to attack them. When the Kraken attacks, the jar of dirt is broken and Jack realizes that the heart is gone and so he escapes in a long boat while Will leads the fight against the Kraken. As the Kraken starts killing off the crew, Will gives Elizabeth a rifle and loads up the remaining gunpowder and rum into a net to use against the Kraken but the rifle is knocked from Elizabeth’s hands and when she goes to get it, a returning Jack stops her and takes the shot himself. The Kraken is seriously wounded and Jack orders everyone to abandon ship. Elizabeth approaches Jack and thanks him for coming back and proving he is a good man then kisses him, which is seen by Will, but she then uses manacles to secure Jack to the mast, saying that the Kraken is after him and the Pearl, not them, and Jack calls her a pirate as she leaves. Elizabeth tells the others that Jack is staying behind and they row away while Jack manages to free himself just as the Kraken appears and roars at him. Jack picks up his hat, which had flown out of the Kraken’s mouth, then draws his sword and faces the beast as it drags the Black Pearl down into the sea. Davey Jones witnesses this and has his men open the chest only to find it empty and he curses Jack Sparrow. Meanwhile, Norrington is picked up by one of Beckett’s ships and brought to Port Royal, where he gives Beckett Davey Jones heart. At Tia Dalma’s hut, Will, Gibbs, Elizabeth and the others mourn Jack’s loss and when Tia Dalma asks if they would be willing to sail to the world’s end to rescue him and they agree, she says they need a captain who has been there to guide them, and a resurrected Barbossa appears and asks about the Pearl.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest met with mixed results from the critics, earning a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Gone is Depp’s unpredictability and much of the humor and originality of the first movie.” The movie won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, the first time that Industrial Light & Magic would win that award since Forrest Gump in 1994. Despite the mid-grade reviews from the critics, the movie was a hit at the box office, earning $1.066 billion off of a $225 million budget, making it the highest grossing movie of 2006 and the highest grossing movie in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.
There were some good things and some bad things about this movie, mostly good. The acting was really good, with Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley doing great jobs in reprising their roles. I also liked Bill Nighy (Davey Jones), Tom Hollander (Beckett) and Naomie Harris (Tia Dalma) and how they played their roles. The story was good and I really liked how they worked in the legend of Davey Jones and put their own spin on it. I also liked some of the side stories going on, such as Will reuniting with his dad, and the feelings that Elizabeth and Jack have for each other and the confusion that brings them. The visual effects were definitely top notch and worthy of the Oscar that they won. I also liked the choreography in the sword fights, with the sword fight in the water wheel being incredibly well choreographed, as was the fight Elizabeth, Pintel, and Ragetti had with Davey Jones’ crew, where they kept tossing swords to each other as they only had 2 swords between the three of them. Sooooo, what did I find bad about this movie? Mainly some of the jokes were a little stupid, such as Jack knocking the head off of one of Davey Jones crew and the head trying to direct it’s body to pick it back up. I know it is a little petty but that is how I feel. Anyways, this was definitely a good follow up to the original movie and worth watching.
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5