Ahoy, me harteys!

This be yer friendly buccaneer here with some more buried treasure to show ye.

And today, to state why I once again be talking like a pirate, I'll be reviewing "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest".

Here be the rundown of this here tale *clears throat*: 

A long while after the events of the first film, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann are set to have a wedding and be married. However, everything is suddenly brought to a halt by the arrival of Lord Cutler Beckett, who arrests them because of associating with Jack Sparrow.

However, Beckett offers to pardon Elizabeth's arrest, but only if Will does one thing for him:

Bring him Jack's compass, so that it may direct Beckett to what he wants most.

Meanwhile, as Jack continues to enjoy being captain of the Black Pearl again, he suddenly receives word from his old friend, Bill 'Bootstrap' Turner, that a bargain he made with Davy Jones has expired, and therefore he must pay his debt by either becoming a part of Jones's crew, or be dragged to Davy Jones' Locker by a creature called the Kraken.

Unwilling to pay his debt, Jack makes it his mission to somehow get out of the situation he's in.

Along the way, we see the return of Pintel and Ragetti.

First off, I'd like to say that I get that this isn't the best installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, but, in all honesty...this is actually still a really great film and sequel to the first film.

Sure, the story may be a little all over the place because of where many of the characters were taking it, and it may make things a little long, but other than that...Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio's ability with character-driven plotting still continued to shine like gold in this film. They took a story in multiple directions, but [b]still [/b]managed to tie it all together. And despite the differing goals each character has, they each desire [b]one[/b] thing in particular: the Heart of Davy Jones.

The heart itself is what I found to be the heart of the story (metaphorically speaking, of course). For instance, Jack wants the heart because he wants to get out of his debt to Jones; Will wants the heart so that he could somehow free his father; and Beckett wants the heart so that he can use it for his own evil deeds.

The direction by Gore Verbinski had furthermore continued to be well-crafted and full of intrigue, just like in the first film. At times, things [b]did[/b] get dark and there's even some drama, but there's also some brilliantly executed and creative humor. The comedy aspect is so funny, you'd immediately find yourself laughing. The film additionally had an excellent increase in emotional resonance. The ending in particular, when Jack and the Black Pearl are taken down by the Kraken, and all seems lost after that until the crew, Will, and Elizabeth vow to save him, had a powerful resonance similar to that of "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back", when Han Solo was frozen in suspended animation and taken to Jabba the Hut, and his friends vow to get him back. It was all [b]so[/b] brilliant.

The music that was created by Hans Zimmer was likewise [b]really[/b] fun. At the helm, Zimmer is certainly no Klaus Badelt, but he did a marvelous job at succeeding for the latter. His work in the film was a combination of matching Badelt's work, but at the same time, being something new. Once again, and just like the last film, the music ejected something that likely wasn't seen in live-action films since the works of John Williams and Alan Silvestri.

The special effects that the film had, particularly the effects used with the Kraken and the motion-capture effects used with Jones and his crew, were on par [b]amazing[/b]! The crew of the Flying Dutchman [b]literally[/b] seemed so real, even through their expressions and emotions. Whoever was in charge of bringing the Kraken to life likewise did a marvelous job at making it seem like a really creature, that's for sure.

Finally, it all comes down to the acting, casting, characters, and character development.

I'm definitely going to start by saying that Pintel and Ragetti's return from the first film was really fun. Their presence throughout was able to successfully lighten things up, and their developments from evil lackeys to often reluctant helpers was nicely done. The performances of Arenberg and Crook, as well as their comedic-timings, were also pretty spot-on.

Johnny Depp and his character of Jack Sparrow were similarly as unpredictable, funny, and brilliant as ever. They still stole the show quite a lot, and they too did a great job at lighting themselves throughout the film's darker aspects. Sparrow's development also made his character even more multidimensional, because you start to see how conflicted he becomes on if he should think more for others or more for himself.

The character developments of Will and Elizabeth were still as powerful as ever, particularly when they began to question their love and trust in each other. Bloom and Knightley's performances and efforts certainly helped to aid in showing it, I'll tell you that.

And finally...

Out of all of the new performers and characters, Bill Nighy, and his character of Davy Jones, were definitely the best of them all.

Nighy's performance made his character one of the most entrancing parts of the film, and under all of that CGI and makeup that was applied to him, he gave Jones a personality that made him so full of life, and emotions that were powerful enough to make the character come to life. Every line that Nighy had for his character, he said them with a distinguishable personality, and the Scottish accent he incorporated made things even more filled with flavor.

The character himself was definitely a classic kind of villain, but not only that...he has a complexity and dimensionalism that makes him far from a stick sort of character. He's someone who is very human, however, that's something he's trying to run from. He believes that having feelings, as well as having [b]any [/b]emotion[b] [/b]outside of anger, and his love for bargains and misery from others, makes him weak. So he makes it his mission to not only run from his heart, but keep it from falling in the hands of another. He's someone who doesn't want to be controlled and limited.

In conclusion, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", is actually quite an excellent film, and a great sequel. It preserved what made the first film so special, while further adding in a marvelously done new flair.

So, I rate "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" five out of five stars. Stay tuned for my review of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", coming soon.

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