And yet, I can't bring myself to not recommend it... — 6 years ago
It’s impossible not to compare this movie with its predecessor, and sadly, it’s lacking in every respect. Where “Black Pearl” was action-packed, comedic, and didn’t take itself too seriously, “Dead Man’s Chest” was serious and plodding. The action beats were few and far between; when the ‘water wheel sword fight’ started, I looked at my watch and thought, “Geez, it takes an HOURANDFORTY-FIVEMINUTES to get fun?” Part of the problem is that while Barbossa and his crew were funny and scary, Davy Jones and his crew weren’t funny at all, and were left trying way too hard to be creepy. Yes Disney, we know you spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the sfx pirates. They just don’t look good. You could still sell your action figures with half the amount of screen time.
Acting-wise, Stellan Skarsgard and Jack Davenport were magnificent, and Depp performed adequately (if lacking a little something). Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly, although not bad per se, weren’t given much to do. The story was padded and none of the characters had believable motivation. Plus, Captain Jack went from “rapscallion” to “thoroughly dislikeable” at one point in the movie, and while it’s not something that bothered everyone, it sure as hell bothered me.
On the risk of sounding too downbeat, there were some good moments. I really did enjoy the big fight scene towards the end, and about half of the Kraken moments were good (the other half could have been easily cut down). But “Dead Man’s Chest” was simply not much fun. I can only hope for more swashbuckling and comedy in “End of the World”, but something tells me they’re going to keep this serious tone. This franchise was based on a ride, for god’s sakes: make it FEEL like one.