ReviewWriter: Lim Chang Moh Writer Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl" and other swashbucklers
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 deja vu. This sequel may have twice the action and special effects but it offers only half the fun and thrills of the original.
"Dead Man's Chest" starts off promisingly, though. Right from where the original 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. 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.
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 Gore 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.
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.
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?Cinema Online, 23 September 2008