The plot careered around like a drunken sailor, and made very little sense. The macguffin was ridiculous. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley were bland mannequins who didn’t do much. Many of the situations were absurd—the sword fight on the water wheel, the cannibals and the pirates dashing back and forth around the island, heck, just about every time someone pulled a sword, it was for a silly reason. The primary villain, Lord Cutler Beckett, was a conniving bureaucrat who didn’t leave his office, and who was working to get a monopoly for the East India Company—did they get their plot driver from George Lucas? Also, it just sort of stops at the end, and we’re going to have to wait until next summer to find out what happens.
Still…Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was terrific fun. It’s got pirates, a squid-man, a giant squid, a crew of undead human-sea creature hybrids, random sword fights, a giant squid crushing ships, the cutest little animated barnacles, a giant squid eating people, very poor dental hygiene, and it just never stops. I’d been warned that it was over-long, but seriously, I got to the end and thought, “It’s done? Already?”
I will warn the kiddies it does have scenes of graphic violence. People take axes and swords to the giant cephalopod’s arms, they shoot it, they fire cannons into it, and they blow things up and set fire to his arms. But don’t worry, <SPOILER ALERT!!!> the Kraken bounces right back and he’s OK, and he even gets to eat a major character. I was relieved. I still have hopes that in the sequel, the Kraken will complete its quest, achieve freedom from its servitude, eat all the wicked people, and retire to some nice abyssal current where it will lurk quietly and eat many surprised deep-diving whales.
The other hero of the movie, Davy Jones, was splendid, a magnificently handsome leading man. There were hints that he has a sad romantic history. The character of Elizabeth is showing signs of dissatisfaction with that piece of damp cardboard, Will Turner. I think you can all see where this is going: I predict that in the final movie, Elizabeth will finally meet Davy, she’ll fall in love at first sight, she’ll win his heart, and they’ll sail off into the sunset, where they’ll spawn many squidlets together. Yeah, it’s predictable, but this is the kind of movie that just has to have a happy ending.
Oh, and just to tie up all the loose ends, I think Will and Jack have to end up in a happy pirate life together, too.