One of Disney’s biggest surprise hits of recent memory has been Pirates of the Caribbean. It is simply a swashbuckling tale of pirates, ghosts and the politics and romance of the British colonies.
Admittedly I have only seen the first movie once. It was shortly after the DVD release. Given the hype surrounding the sequel I did not have a chance to review the source material before seeing part 2.
However that did not take away from my enjoyment of part 2. And that’s as much as you need to know going into this movie. It is a pure joyride.
Continuing where the first film left off Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is back in command of his ship, while Norrington (Jack Davenport) has Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) in custody and bargains with them to steal Jack’s magic compass so he might find a lost treasure.
Got all that? Okay cause that’s only the first half of the plot.
We soon find out that Jack Sparrow is on borrowed time and owes a debit to the mythic and visually stunning Davey Jones (Bill Nighy).
Throw in a love triangle between Bloom, Knightley and Depp and you find yourself in what boils down to the Star Wars of the high seas.
There are however two disappointing aspects to this movie. First it’s rated PG-13 for some intense images that could upset younger audience members. For older fans yes this is the Star Wars of the high seas. However, instead of bad guys in white plastic armor and an onyx-caped villain we have some rather gruesome half sea creature half human evildoers.
Continuing with the adult themes is the innuendo Depp creates when interacting with Knightley, as well as his drinking. Not quite the virtouous Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo was still a better roll model.
The second is the ending… it’s not. With Pirates 3 due in 2007 we are left with a cliffhanger that feels not so much like an ending to this movie, but the beginning of the third act. It just leaves you with that unfinished feeling when you leave the theatre.
The movie is paced well, always something visually appealing on the screen (but what’s not visual appealing about the Caribbean or Keira Knightley?). The humor is delivered with spot-on timing as well as believable and engaging dialogue. Overall the move does what the first does, but with a bigger effects budget and another edition due in a year. Like most of Disney’s live-action movies as of late this is a good one, but you may want to leave the sensitive younger kids at home.
P.S. Jack Sparrow runs like a girl!