We caught it over the weekend and enjoyed it, as well. Here’s my review from my own website:
Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” has arrived with a splash and plundered the box office with the greatest earnings of any movie in history, and it’s no real wonder why. With its swashbuckling heroes, swaggering pirates, and feisty heroines, PIRATES is the closest thing this generation will have to the original INDIANA JONES series. This is one big special effects bonanza, and it feels so real that once you become absorbed in its world, you don’t really want to come out of it.
Based upon, or rather, inspired by one of my favorite attractions at the Disney theme parks, this PIRATE movie, as well as it’s predecessor, captivated me more than expected. Whether you’re there to watch Johnny Depp’s insanely calculated actions as the ever-mysterious, often ambiguous Captain Jack Sparrow, or wallow in the romance of Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly’s Turner and Swann saga, or just want to soak up some ancient Caribbean pirate flavor and atmosphere, this movie makes sure you get a bit of everything.
Slightly overdone, but totally riveting to gaze upon are the visual effects that bring the Squid-faced Davy Jones and his oceanically deformed shipmates to life. John Knoll, of ILM, and his team have created a villian who is both scary and curious to look at. And the legend of Davy Jones has never been more exciting or enticing.
All of the visual effects in this movie are startingly effective, often seeming so realistic that even jaded moviegoers will have to sit back and wonder how they ever got to film that. I’m thinking now about how less than realistic the effects in the recent King Kong movie look when compared with this one. This is a big, bombastic, blown-up movie, and as such it’s fun, giddy and original.
There are several homages thrown in to boot- watch for tributes to Raiders of the Lost Ark and even The Empire Strikes Back, the latter of which this film has been compared to due to its (somewhat of a ) cliffhanger ending. The whole movie, as a set up for the next chapter, works really well, and leaves you hungry for more.
I suggest a viewing of the first film, especially if you haven’t seen it in a while, before catching this one. The action picks up sometime later, with no looking back, so some viewers may be confused.
I also enjoyed the tributes to the source material. The original PIRATES movie was filled with scenes from the ride itself. This one takes in the atmosphere of the Florida park attraction (check out the prison scene), and creates an interesting backstory to the swamp section of the Disneyland attraction (with the little porchlit house on the plantation in the middle of the murky river, as seen in the California version). Only neither ride had anything to do with squidheads and scary looking crewmembers.
I was also disappointed not to hear the main PIRATES ride theme song anywhere in this movie ("Yo Ho! A Pirate’s Life for Me). Still, for the material at hand, I think the director did a fine job, and I eargerly await the next (and final?) chapter of the PIRATES saga. This is the kind of movie that movie-going summers were made for.
BE FOREWARNED - There 'be PIRATES ahead. This movie is TOO INTENSE for the little ones. Unless you want them to have nightmares all night.