Nathan Pigg⚡️’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Do you fear death? Do you fear that dark abyss? All your deeds laid bare, all your sins punished? I can offer you an escape.”
-Pirates of the Caribbean Ranked
The second film of the Pirates franchise is another one that I’ve seen in chunks but can’t remember the last time I’ve seen it all the way through. It’s been quite a long time. I was pleasantly surprised honestly.
Where I feel the first movie had more of a spark and “lightning in a bottle” magic, this one was just entertaining all the way around. This is such a great adventure film and at the end of the day, that’s all it sets out to be. This film isn’t trying to win an Oscar or change your perspective on pirates, it’s just trying to be a fun adventure film. And in that sense, I think it’s better than the original. The sense of adventure and countless different action scenes, hilarious dialogue, and crazy stunts make this just so much fun.
The inclusion of Davy Jones was huge for this story, as I think he’s a much better villain than what we got in The Curse of the Black Pearl. He’s not an iconic villain or anything, but he’s a solid character with believable motives and just adds a lot to this universe. Throw in putting a face to the name of Bootstrap Bill Turner as a ghost and that whole storyline, it’s a great couple of additions to the franchise.
I think this film suffers though from bouncing all over the place a little too much. Not that it has too many storylines, it’s just so choppy and non focused for a majority of the film. They bounce around from rescuing Will to the Kraken to the cannibals to Davy Jones to the East Indian Trading Company to the chest it’s all too intercrossed. Likewise, I think the cannibals scene in that first hour is simply unneeded. It’s so long and doesn’t add a ton of value to the film overall. Not to mention it’s a huge rip off of Return of the Jedi. But my biggest gripe is this film is so long for the story it tells. I know it’s just a few minutes longer than the original, but these stories don’t need to be 2.5 hours.
The ending bumps this up quite a bit, as I think it’s an incredible cliff hanger. The way it’s shot, told, ugh it’s perfect. This is a perfect cliffhanger. I’m just gonna say it, this is one of the best cliffhangers I’ve ever seen. Seriously. For that and many other reasons, this one is a smudge above the original in my eyes.