Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ★★★★

2020 Film Diary, Entry #26

“This is going to save Elizabeth?”
“How much do you know about Davy Jones?”
“Not much.”
“Yeah, it’s going to save Elizabeth.”

“Well, each wants the chest for hisself, don't 'e? Mr. Norrington, I think, is trying to regain a bit of honor. Old Jack's looking to trade it, save his own skin. And Turner there, I think 'e's trying to settle some unresolved business twixt him and his twice-cursed pirate father.”

[A 151-word review of a 151-minute film]

The show-stopping third-act sequence on Isla Cruces is a slapstick microcosm of the whole film: this is a complex two-and-a-half-hour Rube Goldberg machine of moves and countermoves, choices and consequences, debts and payoffs—or disastrous denials of obligation—set into inevitable motion by the recent events of the previous film and by fateful decisions made long before, with diverging chain reactions merging and funneling down to a series of falling dominoes that trigger the plot of the third film. The fact that the whirling gears of the present film never produce much more than the context for the next one is a bit unsatisfying to me, and it’s little too dour and macabre for my taste. But with Verbinski’s bold visuals (that opening montage!), Zimmer’s orchestral rock band, and Elliott and Rossio’s gleefully convoluted (but never incoherent) storytelling, it is never less than compelling entertainment.

CONTENT: Accomplished screenwriting/storytelling (4)
CRAFT: Accomplished filmmaking (4)
REWATCHABILITY: I want to watch it again (4)
RECOMMENDABILITY: Recommended with reservations (3)
RATING: 15 points = 4 stars = Great film

Robert liked these reviews