Dead Man’s Chest
Released 07/07/2006 Rated: PG-13
Considering the fact that sequels generally aren’t as good as their predecessors, I think this movie is impressive. It’s right around par with The Curse of the Black Pearl. These filmmakers had to figure out how to top undead skeletons, amazing sword fights, and cleverly written jokes, and I feel like they hit a winner.
My only complaint is that they recycled all the jokes from the first movie. BUT they tweaked each one so that it’s almost like a reference to the actual jokes. “Why is the rum always gone?” Gov. Swan pulling the candle holder from the wall in the dungeon. “Where is that dog with the keys?” “This is the day you shall always remember as the day that you almost–[waves splashes over him resulting in a loss of enthusiasm] …Captain Jack Sparrow.” And many more. Yes, these were great moments in the movie, but did we really need to revisit all of them? In that regard, they piggy-backed too much on the first one. Thankfully every other aspect of this film stepped up to the table and felt like an original movie.
So how do you match a crew of undead skeletons? You turn Davy Jones and his crew into a part of the sea. Davy Jones looks incredible, and of course the only person capable of pulling off such a character is none other than the magnificent Bill Nighy. A villain can make or break a movie, and this guy always brings his A-game. I just wish they had gone more into his back-story in the next installment His is a character I want to know more about.
This movie felt a tad too long, but it’s still pretty good.
At World’s End
Released 05/25/2007 Rated: PG-13
This movie on the other hand has too much going on. There are way too many side switches, double crosses, and for-my-own-purpose reveals. You have to watch this film multiple times just to keep everything straight, or at least I did. They could have found a way to cut out half of it and still have a good movie. I mean, (roughly) less than halfway through the movie our characters make it back from world’s end. Not to mention we go through the climactic battle without any of the other Pirate clans, whatsoever! And up until that point that’s all anyone would talk about.
I love the power struggle between Sparrow and Barbosa. They play it up, but in a natural way; I don’t feel it’s forced. Each one believes the Pearl to be rightfully his, and so they butt heads as to who gives the final orders. It’s like they found the sweet spot and scaled back on the comedy from the previous installment. Proof that it doesn’t have to be stupid to be funny/entertaining.
Now, I’m all for female-empowerment, but —considering the entire trilogy— do you really expect me to believe that Elizabeth Swan, a governor’s daughter who has always dreamed for adventure, becomes not only a captain and successor to one of the nine Pirate Lords, but also the Pirate King, leading all nine Pirate clans into war with the East Indian Trading Company? That she’s the one in charge yelling orders and stirring up the ship’s morale into battle? I just feel like it’s overkill. No, she shouldn’t be a throw-away character, but I feel her role should have been dialed down to more like it was in Dead Man’s Chest, where she was up for what the adventure brought, but not leading the charge. Here it’s almost as if the filmmakers were trying too hard to keep her relevant to the story.
Less comedy, more drama, less action-packed sequences, and slightly bombarded with the changes in who stands where. At World’s End is my lease favorite film of the currently four in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.