Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

by Catherine McCafferty
Average rating of 5/5. (1 Rating)
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Dead Man's Chest

  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Running Time: 151 minutes

Captain Jack is back in a sequel to the swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

After the fun of Black Pearl, everyone wanted to see more of Jack and his friends. Dead Man's Chest definitely delivers more: a more complicated plot, with more threads and double-crosses to track, plus more visual effects and action. For such an eagerly anticipated sequel, though, Dead Man's Chest opens on some grim notes: Would-be bride Elizabeth Swann soaks in the rain on her wedding day, and prisoners are mutilated and buried at sea on an island prison. The grimness does give way to some fun action sequences and laugh-out-loud visuals. (What do you get when you cross a hamster wheel with a swordfight? A must-see scene in Dead Man's Chest.) The who and how can be distracting, so you might want to just sit back and simply enjoy the "what fun!"

Kids Will Like:
The scruffy band of rogues from the Black Pearl is back, from Mr. Gibbs to the immortal monkey Jack. Tortuga is back, too, still filled with barroom brawls and nonsense about Jack's hat. There's a three-way swordfight, a sea monster, a Jack-kebab, and a new cursed ship. What won't kids like?

Parents Will Like:
It's fun to see which throw-away lines and story elements from Pearl that the writers developed in the sequel (e.g., Jack's comment, "Then they made me their chief ...," the fate of Bootstrap Bill).

Heads Up:
Early on, a prisoner's eyes are pecked out and eaten by birds, and there is more than one cold-blooded murder as the action progresses.

Davy Jones' wiggly-worm beard and his crew of sea-monster-men could give young viewers nightmares (assuming they don't already have them from that eye-pecking scene). Remember that there are reasons for a PG-13 rating.

The island cannibals feel like a throwback to '50s-style adventure/stereotype, no matter how Mr. Gibbs explains them.

Own It?
Rent it first. It is a classic, but it isn't your average Disney fare. Not all may take to it enough to give it repeated viewings.

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