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There be pirates Jul 13

Went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest at the weekend. Pretty enjoyable, but a bit baffling in places if you’ve not seen the first film – or, as in my case, you’ve seen the first film but forgotten much of it in the three years since.

The CGI was so good in most parts that I didn’t even think about it – there were just one or two Kraken shots which gave the game away. Johnny Depp steals the film, acting everyone else off the screen; poor Orlando Bloom is left looking, if not wet, then a little moist. Bill Nighy plays a very convincing Davy Jones, although I don’t understand why he was Scottish, and I’m sure he didn’t look like that when he was in The Monkees. Keira Knightley surprises by being quite good in a few scenes, but is pretty ropey at times. I can’t help remembering that awful Domino movie – one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen in the cinema, and I only saw the trailer.

At points, Dead Man’s Chest was exciting and had great snippets of dialogue. But, at two-and-a-half hours, it’s too damn long and some sequences dragged. The scene Alex describes as “exhilarating swashbuckling” I’m afraid I found overlong – you know no-one is going to win the swordfight, and, because the MacGuffin in being fought over is elsewhere, the action feels ilke a sideshow. Plus, the rolling water wheel was a retread of the rolling cage on the island early on – part of an entire section which could have been dropped to make the film a more manageable length without any impact on the plot.

Finally, I felt cheated by the end: yes, I enjoyed most of the film, but I expected to be rewarded for sitting through it. Instead, it stuck up two fingers and put out its hand for the ticket price to the second sequel. The Empire Strikes Back might have got away with it, but Dead Man’s Chest doesn’t.

For other views: Ryan, Gordon.

2 Responses

  1. Excellent review of the actors, in particular 😉

    I agree the rolling water wheel was something of a retread of the rolling cage, but I far preferred it – yes, both of us would cut the first one.

    And here’s a bizarre thing; I’ve always felt cheated by the end of The Empire Strikes Back, but found this a refreshing surprise. I guess I just like surprises more than I did as a boy.

  2. 2

    I was never into Star Wars when I was a kid – I was too young to have seen the original releases and it was only when the special editions came out in the mid-nineties that I saw them at the cinema, by which time the idea of a trilogy was already ingrained. I think the problem in this case was that I wasn’t prepared to be left dangling – I might’ve felt the same if I’d seen Empire in 1980.