Captain Jack Sparrow has certainly gotten himself into a pickle of grand proportions in the second chapter of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise: Dead Man’s Chest. Any fan or foe of Sparrow knows he is a pirate and he has a past. That past comes calling when old friend “Bootstrap” Bill Turner delivers a message that his seven year grace period from Sparrow’s impending 100-year indentured servitude on Davy Jones’ Flying Dutchman is over, and Jones’ leviathan sea monster, the Kraken, is coming for him. About this same time, former shipmate Will Turner has come to impress Jack into a service of a different kind. He and Elizabeth were arrested moments before their wedding by Cutler Beckett, head of the Dutch East India Trading Company, for helping Sparrow escape his death sentence in the last chapter. But Beckett will call off the witch hunt and pardon Will and Elizabeth if Will can deliver a certain possession of Sparrow’s to him: Jack’s compass. It seems that Jack has had a checkered past with Beckett as well. Always the pirate, upon Will’s request for help, Jack sees an opportunity to save his own skin and sends Will over to the Flying Dutchman to settle his debt with Jones. Not only does this plan not convince Jones to forgive Sparrow’s service, but it gets Will and ninety nine other souls condemned to servitude. But don’t worry; of course Jack has another solution for this predicament. While Will remains on the Dutchman as a down payment and he goes looking for other ninety nine unfortunates. In addition, Jack wants Will to retrieve a key from the Dutchman, a key to the chest of the heart of Davy Jones. Upon retrieving the key and the chest, someone need only stab the heart killing Jones and putting the impaler in charge of the cursed ship and setting everyone free. The race begins and pure adventure ensues for Will and Jack to save themselves and Elizabeth while outrunning the Kraken, Jones, and Beckett.
The second installment to the Pirates of the Caribbean series is a roaring ride filled with amazing special effects, suspenseful fun, and unexpected twists and turns. The movie’s smart story and clever characters keep it from falling into the familiar sequel curse. Jerry Bruckheimer returns as producer and Gore Verbinski steps in again as director to attempt to surpass the high bar set by the first film and they do not disappoint! The storyline incorporates and expands on many of the aspects introduced in the first Pirates building more thought-provoking back story and character profiles that all members of the film-going family will enjoy. The special effects are even more amazing the second time around with special groundbreaking computer graphics especially designed for the creation of Davy Jones and his cursed crew of oddly shaped oceanic deckhands.
No movie can rely completely on story and explosions alone. Actor performances are one of the most important aspects to making a movie exceptional. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley return as the young lovers Will Turner and Elizabeth Swan. Johnny Depp reprises his role as the memorable Captian Jack Sparrow, who experiences life-altering events in Dead Man’s Chest. This sequel keeps the storyline fresh with the addition of some tantalizing new characters. Bill Nighy is a villainous vision as the tentacle clad Davy Jones; he is a true match for the likes of Sparrow. Stellan Skarsgard enters the scene as “Boot-strap” Bill Turner, Will’s father; and quite the family reunion ensues. The devilish Cutler Beckett is portrayed by Tom Hollander whose sinister ways give Davy Jones a run for his money. Adding provoking characters to an inventive story and special effects make this movie a real treasure. A major betrayal, a complicated love triangle, and the return of former and new adversaries all make Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest a fitting sequel to Curse of the Black Pearl and will leave everyone “dying” for the next installment.