Friday, July 21, 2006

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

This is a great summertime popcorn movie. It's fun. It's loopy. It's 150 minutes (more if you go for the preview and stay through the credits) of air-conditioned nonsense. It's pure escapism with more than a few nods to Disney's original ride--which Uncle Walt himself helped design.

No great themes were discussed. Nothing about global warming or destroying the ecosystem of the ocean. No lectures about the cruelty of mankind or economic disparity or racial/cultural/gender/sexual intolerance. Although there is kissing and flirting.

The effects were cool. Those forced to sail with Davy Jones become part of the sea quite literally. Davy himself is part squid, part crab. Bootstrap Bill is becoming one with starfish and barnacles. And there's one character who is part of the ship itself.

While Sis#2 will be disappointed that there's no wet shirt/shirtless scenes featuring Johnny Depp, there is one featuring Orlando Bloom. (Sigh. Although I still think he looks better as a blond.)

The fight scene among Capt. Sparrow (Depp), Will Turner (Bloom), and the former Commodore, Norrington (Jack Davenport) was clever, imaginative, and amazing. The Kraken looks quite realistic.

Keira Knightly is becoming one of my favorite actresses. Her character is intelligent and almost too clever, impetuous--very much like a woman in her late teens/early-20's. (Yes, I do remember those days. Not that my memory is that good--it's just DD#1 is exactly that age!)

The wonderful thing about this movie is that the cast plays it straight. They don't "wink" at the camera. The dialogue is witty. The action is (almost) non-stop. The bayou is eerie with a suitable Voodoo Queen.

And the end has a surprise twist.

Some critics have complained about the length. Frankly, if I'm paying $9.00 for a movie ($5.75 at the matinee), I want it to be an event. I want to be there awhile. Just plan to have enough time to find a good seat, go to the bathroom, and don't drink a large soft drink.

And this is one movie you want to see on a big screen with a good sound system.

On the March Hare scale: 4.5 out 5 Golden Tickets