I hate to admit it, but Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is the most fun I’ve had at the movies so far this summer. Which means that this sequel has exceeded my expectations and beaten other 2006 blockbusters like Mission Impossible III, X-Men III: The Last Stand, Superman Returns, The Da Vinci Code, and V for Vendetta.
What the film has going for it is a sense of fun that the other tent-poles seem to lack and Johnny Depp. This is not the first film that would have flopped were it not for Depp – most of the action was not that spectacular and the swashbuckling scenes were uninspired.
I liked the art design that went into creating Davy Jones, the crew of the Flying Dutchman and the gigantic tentacles and razor sharp teeth of the kraken. The effects were decent and entertaining in a not-scary way.
The early scene where Capt. Jack Sparrow is held captive by natives reminded me of and is superior to the middle section of last year’s King Kong. Gore Verbinski’s direction of this episode is reminiscent of prime Hong Kong action movies starring Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung that manage to mix engaging action with comedy.
Why do I hate to admit that Pirates 2 is so far the best movie of 2006? Because the Pirates sequel lacks an engrossing plot and is (like all the summer blockbusters Hollywood puts out these days) way too long. In another age, Pirate 2 would just have been another B-grade action adventure.