Swashbuckling Johnny Depp did it again: the latest installment of Pirates of the Caribbean (PotC) is a total success, grossing on its second weekend as much as the next four movies combined. I can hear the sigh of relief out of Burbank: they had bet big time on this sequel, going as far as shooting two of them back-to-back.
As movies go, PotC 1 (The Curse of the Black Pearl) was funnier and more interesting. This one is way too long, way too predictable, and the special effects are too repetitive. Was it worth it? Not really, unless you really don’t know what to do with yourself on a hot summer afternoon. Towards the second half of the movie, I started wishing I had a remote control to zip over the less interesting scenes.
What about the acting? Well, Johnny Depp steals the show, as usual. His Jack Sparrow, a habitual drunkard with an uncanny balance, is the heart and soul of the movie, which is pretty much a vehicle for him and for special effects/action shots. Depp impresses and fills the role with a life that I wished the movie had as a whole.
The other characters, on the other hand, are with one exception too small for the actors that play them. Anyone who’s seen Kingdom of Heaven wonders why Orlando Bloom even considers a role as damaging as this. Keira Knightley is obviously more gifted than the pretty image she is forced into. But what do we expect from a movie that makes of the villain an octopus mask?
Dead Man’s Chest is a cultural waste land in which movie goers find themselves entertained to the point of satisfaction. As a movie, PotC is the visual equivalent of a McDonald’s meal: you stand up when you can’t stand it any more, but think you’ve had a good time.