This is your SPOILER-FREE REVIEW!
Let me just start this thing off with a statement.
If you loved the first one, you’ll love the second one. If you hated the first one, or didn’t get it, don’t watch this one.
The creators of Pirates of the Caribbean stuck faithfully to the formula that made “The Curse of the Black Pearl” such a success. This is also known as a "Cash Grab."
It’s everything I expected it to be. It’s all there:
The lovers who can’t be together.
The charismatic pirate who may or may not be an honourable man.
The small dose of reality involving the British colonies of the Caribbean.
The supernatural forces.
The twisted plots and subplots.
The incredibly interesting villain.
Something that needs to be found.
Someone needing to be rescued.
Bargaining, swindling and lying!
Swashing and buckling!
Ridiculous slapstick comedy!
Not only did they stick with a winning formula, they exaggerated it. If a swordfight is good, a three-way swordfight is better!
The plot is more complex, there are more characters, and the villainous barnacle covered slimy pirates are more disgusting than the rotting corpse pirates three years ago. Dead Man’s Chest suffers from Middle Movie Syndrome. Much of the dialogue and sight gags rely on references from the movie before, and the ending practically screams “To Be Continued!”
It manages to be slightly more gruesome on this outing, but not bloody. Less blood, more slime! Less violence, more kissing!
And the kissing...we have to wait for it. But it’s worth the wait. And it isn’t quite what you expect.
The mystery of the enigmatic Captain Jack Sparrow continues. I felt like I could have used more of him, but I simply can’t get enough of him. Perhaps the script didn’t give as many chances to see Jack’s deep side, full of regret and remorse. (Remember the shootout with Barbossa at the end of Black Pearl?) There really aren’t any Oscar Nomination moments here. Instead, we finally get to see what makes Jack nervous and unhinged, what's got him vexed and acting strange...er.
Simply, Jack Sparrow doesn't know what he wants. Where is his famously broken compass guiding him? How can he find what he truly wants if he doesn't know what it is he wants?
Is it an excellent movie? Heck no! It's terrible! It’s long, confusing, and bloated. It plays for cheap laughs too often. It relies too much on the movie before it and the one that will follow. It's a retread of the one before it. It's an attempt to squeeze out another run at the box office dollars.
It’s also huge, exciting, creepy, funny, and thoroughly involving as well as visually amazing. I LOVED IT. I fully intend to see it a third time.
I can’t divulge any more details without ruining it for you, and I love surprizes so much that I won’t do that to you. I will give you a tease-- watch for somebody familiar to show up ruined and with revenge on his mind! And he’s way sexier now that he’s not so uptight.
And finally, I want Keira Knightley’s job. I really do. In what other career would one have the opportunity to stand on a white sand beach dressed up as a pirate and surrounded by three handsome men, two of whom are English and one who’s Johnny Depp?!
What is it you truly want?