parlor_radical (parlor_radical) wrote in _moviereview,

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

First review in this community. I really love the atmosphere here. 

Warning: Spoilers (Major)

As a Pirates fan, I walked into the theatre with extreme enthusiasm for a two-and-a-half hour lengthed feature. The movie began with exactly the mood, pace, and excitement I had hoped for. The music was entrancing and the scenery breathtaking. And, the story was working up to be quite interesting. The predicament that the pirates land themselves into within a native tribe is just so bizarre and extraneously long, that it is ingenious. 

So with all it's good qualities, it was not enough to hide the feeling of, "There's something strange and unsatisfying."

Firstly, there was an obvious struggle to include as many comic-relief moments and figures as possible. Unlike the first movie, almost every character featured in Dead Man's Chest has his or her humorous debut within the movie. For example, the Commodore strikes a new angle of comedy in his character, other than his old funny-by-my-serious-attitude-that-is-sticking-out-like-pink-underwear Norrington--but not doubt will Norrington earn his very own set of fangirls. To say that it takes away from the presense of Jack Sparrow is not entirely true either. However, it did place the movie in an uncomfortable position. There are numerous events within the storyline that were a definite "laugh-out-loud" or deserving of a mental nod of approval for originality. However, there are also numerous events in which the comedic dialogue is inspontaneous, rehearsed, and just not unusual enough--in other words, a bit cheesy. I enjoyed the comedic flavor of the first movie much more; the comedy was evenly spread, witty, tasteful, and just enough to highlight a great movie and story. This movie seemed to try too hard. 

Jack Sparrow was a totally new species of man when Johnny Depp first revealed his outrageous imagination through the character of an orignally straight-lined, normal-walking pirate. This time around, it was obvious that the writers were writing a script for the Johnny Deppized-Jack Sparrow persona--the outcome could have been better. Once again, the dialogue became too rehearsed and planned. However, Johnny saves his character with his ever-intoxicating demonstration of Jack. Sadly, some of the original-Jack was already lost through the scripted mood of the new-Jack. 

The interaction between Will Turner and Boot-strap Bill is beautifuly performed. I must say, Orlando seems to click with roles that demonstrate male-to-male comradery rather than comedic ones. Boot-strap Bill turns out to be quite the character; he has quite the strangely alluring voice and the just the right style of emotion. And despite the fact that half his face is hidden by sea-junk, the emotion he is able to exude beyond that is quite amazing. His performance during the dice-game with Wil made me want to reach in his mind, and then he sent me flying back in my seat with revelation with his last line. 

By the last forty minutes or so, Pirates threw in a roller-coaster ride; I was eating as much Pirate-pie as I wanted to my delight. That all stopped when Elizabeth planted the big one on Captain Jack. I have to say, that all the tension demonstrated between Elizabeth and Jack prior to that already put a confusing itch on my back. Why? Maybe it's because it's something a fanatic fangirl would write about in an online-fanfiction, or something that plays in the mind of a fan girl after realizing that Jack could really have a crush on Elizabeth after the first movie. And it didn't stop there: Jack pulls out his sword and gallantly marches into the mouth of a giant squid? Too much far-fetched and unthinkable things at once. I'm quite undecided on why I have a funny feeling about this portion of the movie. To help you maybe understand, I felt this same way when I read the chapter in Half-blood Prince describing Ron's make-out sessions and girlfriend troubles. Maybe it's just the sudden change in a totally new direction that's made my decision-bubble draw a blank.

I think it's interesting that I found myself in the minority when I declared my love for the movie ending with the return of Barbossa. This is of course biased, seeing as my favorite character in Pirates is Barbossa (I dare say even more of a favorite than Jack Sparrow--how scandalous). The last, first, and only line delivered by Geoffrey Rush nearly crushed my heart with all the sighs I thought I would let out. His voice? Good enough to eat. His demeanor? Intoxicating. His return? Made my two-and-a-half hours. Because of him, I barely remembered that the last half-hour seemed to make the movie seem unusually long. I was literally looking at my watch and thinking, "How the heck are they going to finish this thing?" And it was quite unlikely that Pirates would pull off a Diana Wynne Jones and make all the pieces click together in the last ten pages (minutes in this case). I was well aware of the production of a Pirates 3 before going into the theatre, which is probably why I didn't leave in the same way as some disgruntled viewers. But I can see why: it not only had no closure to one plot, but it didn't have closure to all of its subplots, including Norrington's story in Port Royal, Jack's plan with Davy Jones and his thirteen year deadline, Jack being swallowed by a squid, Will's intention to kill Davy Jones and save his father, the confusion of Will upon the subject of Elizabeth kissing Jack, Elizabeth and Will's wedding, what the heck that English lord is going to do next, oh... and that poor, little dog. 

But I have to say that despite its obvious setbacks, I strangely enjoyed this film quite a lot--like I know why I shouldn't like it, but I like it anyways. Perhaps it's my sincere devotion and trust in the writers who originally came-up with the reappearance of pirate films and the phenomenon of the pirate fetish. And perhaps it's Barbossa, whom I will love forever despite odd reactions I recieve from my friends because of it.

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