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(Review originally written at 14 July 2006)

"Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" was an unexpected huge hit and success. It of course would be impossible for a sequel to top this success, mainly because of the reason that every originality and surprise is gone. This is also definitely the case with "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest". We already know the characters, we already know the style of humor in and we already know that it has supernatural elements in it. It makes "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" a less refreshing and surprising movie but luckily the movie is well made and has more than enough stuff in it to still make this movie a thrilling and entertaining one to watch.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" is not a better movie than "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" for several reasons. As mentioned before, the freshness of the movie is gone with as a main result that the characters don't impress or entertaining as much as in the first movie was the case. Not even Jack Sparrow does. Another thing is that they wanted too much, as often in sequels is the case. The story is unnecessary complex, with unnecessary many characters in it. It also causes the movie to be unnecessary long (2 and a half hours!). But no of course the movie is no bore. It's a real roller-coaster ride of a movie, even though it takes some time at the start to find the right pace. The new main villain gets perhaps introduced a bit too late in the movie (about half way through I think) but once he gets introduced the action and fun really starts. The movie has countless spectacular and well executed moments in it, especially with the immensely large octopus named Kraken. Especially the last couple of minutes 'are heavy' with good and fast non-stop action.

This time the main villain of the movie is Davy Jones (half man, half octopus) and his 'The Flying Dutchman' crew. So rather than having an army of undead pirates, we now have an army of undead fish. Sounds less scary but the way the fishy crew looks is highly convincing and intense. Unfortunately Davy Jones (played by the always great Bill Nighy) is no captain Barbossa and I really missed him as the villain in this one.

The rest of the characters are mainly the same. Jack Sparrow is still as crazy as he is entertaining, thanks to Johnny Depp of course. It was also great to see how Keira Knightley's acting had matured. It was obvious that she is a more experienced actress now, when compared to the first movie. Her acting is more adult-like and she impressed and surprised me more as in the first movie. Orlando Bloom gets less interesting to do in this movie but he still is good and convincing enough as the heroic Will Turner, although he still is a bit boring as always. He just isn't as charismatic as Errol Flynn or Douglas Fairbanks who did similar movies as he did but only about a century ago.

Best thing about the movie are its visuals. Not only the locations and make-up are great but also especially the CGI (Oscar win guaranteed I predict). It makes the movie a feast for the eyes that is just as entertaining as thrilling to watch.

So its not as entertaining or fun as the first, mainly because everything is not as fresh and surprising anymore but the action, CGI and better acting still make this movie a thrilling and entertaining roller-coaster ride that is just as good to watch as the first movie, because of this very reason. Also the cliffhanger made me excited for part 3; "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End". I'm not going to spoil anything since I don't want to spoil the surprise for you.

Definitely a movie worth seeing that of course is best and most thrilling to be viewed while its still in cinemas.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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