Thursday, July 06, 2006


Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Bill Nighy
Director: Gore Verbinski
Time: 148 mins
Rating: * * ½ (out of 4)
Johnny Depp is back as Capt Jack Sparrow
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Capt Jack (Depp) is back but before you go ‘Ho-ho-ho and a barrel of fun’ take note that this sequel is just another long-drawn ride through sea monster-infested waters. And just like taking a second trip on the Pirates Of The Caribbean park ride in Disneyland (on which this franchise is based), be prepared for an attack of déjà vu. This sequel may have twice the action and special effects but it offers only half the fun and thrills of the original.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? Dead Man’s Chest starts off promisingly, though. Right from where the original had left off, we see Elizabeth Swann (Knightley) and Will Turner (Bloom) getting ready to be married when the nasty Lord Beckett (Tom Hollander) arrives and orders the arrest of the bridal couple. They are charged with helping a certain Jack Sparrow (Depp) to escape but this is actually a ruse by Beckett to get his hands on a magic compass belonging to Jack. This compass will lead us to a coveted key and to a chest that contains something precious to the slimy Capt Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), skipper of the legendary Flying Dutchman.

HIGHLIGHTS: The adventure takes us to a cannibal island, a voodoo witch (Naomie Harris), to battles on the high seas against Jones’ vessel and a giant octopus, and swordfights and fist-fights among all and sundry. Yeah, you get your money’s worth of action and set-pieces.

LOWLIGHTS: I would like to say that the non-stop action and plot-twists exhaust us but that would be an exaggeration. They just get boring after a while as director Verbinski drags the sequences to the max. To make matters worse, he closes the movie with a cliff-hanger. Yes, be warned that Dead Man’s Chest is shot back-to-back with another sequel (just like Matrix Reloaded) which is due in May next year. And yet another casualty of Verbinski’s ‘monster show’ and ‘action overload’ is the characterisation. Halfway through the movie, we stop caring for Jack, Turner and even Elizabeth because their roles have been reduced to almost that of cartoon characters.

THE LOWDOWN: Sure, this sequel makes us curious about the next instalment. But dare we pray that we won’t be made to walk through a similar plank of pirate fantasy clichés again?


At 2:20 am, Anonymous Jay said...

Haven't got a chance to catch the film yet, but I'm sure it will be worth the 10 bucks. I think Johnny has made the character so unique in an oh so Depp-ish way that it will go down as one of those classics. Can't wait for Pirates 3 though, the rumuors suggesting Keith Richards playing Sparrow Senior is blowing rather hot!

At 6:05 pm, Blogger Lim Chang Moh said...

Hi Jay,
It is confirmed that Keith Richards is in Pirates 3 and so is Chow Yuen Fatt. NOW, this is something I will be most interested in: Can u please get back to this blog and CONFIRM whether it is worth your 10 bucks after watching this sequel? Will appreciate it very much and I am sure the others will too!

At 8:33 pm, Anonymous Arivind Abraham said...

Definitely worth my £4.90! I loved the first one and was waiting to see this. No doubt it is Depp who carries the movie, but what great fun! My only gripe was that it was a little long, but hell I came out all primed for Part 3 and what an ending!!!


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