I just returned from the midnight showing of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
. Once more, the inimitable Johnny Depp sashays onto the scene as Captain Jack Sparrow. His performance alone is, once again, worth the full-price admission. Keira Knightly delights with a smart performance as Elizabeth Swann, the Lady who is seldom in distress. Orlando Bloom returns as Will Turner, the perfect foil for both these strong actors.
There are verbal and visual belly laughs, swordfights aplenty and, well, as soon as you see the old water wheel, you just know
something is going to happen. But you'd never guess that what happens is what happens. Taglines? There are taglines.
I'm not spoiling anything by saying there will be a sequel -- it's already been filmed. The movie moves at an unhurried pace, telling the details of the story that might have otherwise been cut. It has time to be humorous, scary and romantic, time it would not have had in a single movie format. It is visually stunning in typical Disney fashion, from dripping rainforests to spooky ship interiors to sunny beach panoramas. There were some scenes, however, that looked suspiciously like they were filmed just so that they could be recreated as a ride in Anaheim or Orlando.
On the downside, the dramatic opening of the Curse of Black Pearl could not be matched. In fact, the opening was a bit scattered, as though the writers could not agree on where to start the story. But once it finds its heading, the film takes off on a downhill run, and you won't want to miss a minute.
At 150 minutes, it'd be best to hit the head before going onboard.