Despite a slow start, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" delivers a rousing – if imminently forgetful [which makes it just as much fun on re-viewings] – ride once it picks up steam…
The second entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy finds Captain Jack Sparrow [Johnny Depp] being pressured to live up to his end of a deal he made with Davy Jones [Bill Nighy], many years before.
"Dead Man's Chest" lives up to Johnny Depp's claim that this film has everything – including the kitchen sink. There are living pirates, undead pirates [who have become part sea creatures – like the first mate of the Flying Dutchman, the hammerhead], voodoo women, brawls, gigantic sea beasties, and lots of cutlass waving. The somewhat convoluted story has several plot threads: Will Turner's [Orlando Bloom] efforts to save Elizabeth [Keira Knightley]; Elizabeth's search for the good person in Sparrow; Sparrow's search for Davy Jones' chest; the [former] Commodore's search for redemption; Turner's reunion with his father [aboard the Flying Dutchman]; Sparrow's search for the pirate in Elizabeth; and even cannibals who eat their gods…!
"Dead Man's Chest" is a lovely blend of odd character bits, striking stuntwork, beautifully integrated CG set pieces and heart. Outside of editing out the best line from the trailer [you'll know it when you don't hear it], the movie succeeds as the proverbial "goofy summer fun." Filled with humor [some of the best lines are throwaways – like Sparrow's "I thought I knew you."] and high spirits, this may well be the most fun you'll take home from your local DVD store this year.
Features on the single DVD are: Bloopers of the Caribbean [a slightly better than average gag reel], and an outstanding commentary from writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio [besides giving us some cool info on the writing and making of Pirates 2, they also do a nice job of teasing Pirates 3 – At World's End].
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest – Grade: A-
Features – Grade: B
Final Grade: B+