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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
How To Steal a Movie: Part II
by Betty Jo Tucker

With his fascinating portrayal of the roguish and eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp runs away with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Of course, that’s no surprise to viewers who watched him do the same thing in The Curse of the Black Pearl. By creating this iconic film character, Depp has shown how an actor’s awesome talent can make incredible special effects and funny action sequences pale in comparison.     

“None of us would be back if Johnny Depp had not wanted to play this character again,” admits producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “He loved playing him in the first movie and the audience loved him right back. Johnny is one of our greatest actors. He invented Jack Sparrow in the first movie, and he’s not one to rest on his laurels for the second and third. He takes a character to even newer heights.”

In this second installment of the Pirates trilogy, Jack Sparrow must deal once more with the supernatural. If he can’t outwit Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) by locating his “dead man’s chest,” he will lose his soul to this legendary Ruler of the Ocean Depths, who also captains the legendary Flying Dutchman ghost ship. Not an easy task, especially when Sparrow is kidnapped by natives who think he is their god but plan to eat him anyway! And where are Sparrow’s old pals Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) when he needs them? Not to worry. Their wedding is rudely interrupted, and each one will join in his misadventure -- but whether to help or hinder Sparrow’s plans remains to be seen. And Sparrow is not the only one searching for Davy Jones’ chest. The powerful East India Company believes it holds the secret to commanding the seas and will do anything to possess this treasure.

So the game is afoot … er asea. Jack Sparrow and his friends must face horrible looking ghouls, a sea monster with gigantic tentacles, a Voodoo priestess, and their own demons before a cliffhanger ending leaves viewers eagerly anticipating the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, scheduled for release next summer.

Like most Johnny Depp fans, I never get tired of watching him. But that causes a problem. When Depp isn’t on screen, I’m preoccupied with thinking about when he’ll be back, and the rest of the movie suffers. No matter how spectacular the action sequences and special effects come across in Dead Man’s Chest, I would prefer looking at Captain Jack Sparrow’s long dreadlocks, gold teeth, outrageous eyeliner and disheveled pirate garb while listening to his woozy voice as he sashays around trying to trick everyone into doing his bidding.  

Therefore, dear reader, consider the source when I say you’ll get your money’s worth of entertainment from Dead Man’s Chest, but that it would be a better movie with Captain Jack Sparrow in every scene.

(Released by Walt Disney Pictures and rated “PG-13” for intense sequences of adventure violence, including frightening images.)

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