Dave's Rating:

4.5

… one cool action sequence to the next …

Who's in It: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Stellan Skarsgård

The Basics: Capt. Jack Sparrow is back to get himself out of a blood debt he owes to Davy Jones, one he has to pay for with his soul. Then there's the romance between Bloom and Knightley, which is just … you know … whatever. You don't really care. You just want more sword-fighting and skeletons and Nighy as Jones with his beard of tentacles.

What's the Deal? The first one was kind of boring, honestly. Depp and the cool army of skeletons kept it from feeling like a chore, but beyond that, it just felt empty and looooong. So they really stepped up their game for this one. It's still empty, but it moves faster from one cool action sequence to the next; the go-nowhere romance plot line is on the back burner, replaced by sea monsters and murderous islanders and an insane swordfight on a runaway mill wheel. Did I mention the beard of tentacles?

How Long, oh Lord? Again with the two-and-a-half-hour movie, just like Superman Returns. The good news is that, unlike the first one, you won't feel it. Totally passes the butt-shifting-in-seat test.

Give the Production Designer a Raise: Rich Heinrichs is the guy responsible for how awesome it all looks. He's the guy who did Sleepy Hollow and got an Oscar for it.

Countdown to Keith Richards: He's supposed to be playing Depp's father in the next one. You have to wait about a year for it. Meanwhile, on an unrelated note, how pissed off is Eddie Murphy that his Disneyland ride–turned–movie tanked while this one is almost Lord of the Rings big? I was just wondering about that is all.

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