Wednesday, July 12, 2006


By Reymundo Salao

Time has ran out for Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he has a blood debt to the legendary pirate Davy Jones, ruler of the Ocean Depths, lord of a monstrous crew of dark legions, and captain of the ghostly ship Flying Dutchman. And since Jack is now a marked man, he and the crew of his ship the Black Pearl, races against time to find a way out of his damnation. On the way, they face different odds, from a bizarre cannibal islander tribe to the mythical Kraken itself. Meanwhile, the wedding of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) was interrupted by pirate hunter Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) of the East India Corporation, who's had the couple arrested. Beckett coerces Will to retrieve for him the mystic compass of Jack Sparrow, soon thereafter, Jack and Will are reunited to face danger together once more. Elizabeth manages to escape detention and later finds Jack as well. As the seas grow wilder with Davy Jones’ wrath, we find that Beckett, Sparrow, Will, and the rest of the sea rats in this tale of high seas adventure are all after the fabled "Dead Man's Chest." According to legend, whoever possesses the Dead Man's Chest gains control of Davy Jones, and whoever controls Davy Jones, controls the seas.

This is the sequel of the smash hit "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl". It reunites its colorful and swashbuckling cast, its production team, and its director Gore Verbinski. While Pirates of the Caribbean is actually based on the Disney theme-park ride of the same title, the storyline takes a life of its own and with this sequel; it continues to grow, soon to become a full trilogy. But while the film can manage to stand alone apart from the first movie with its mass-driving appeal, it would still be best if one is at least familiar with what has transpired on the previous movie, because many of the secondary and minor characters from part 1 reappear in this movie, such as Jonathan Pryce, who plays Elizabeth Swann's father, Governor Wetherby Swann (and other surprise appearances as well).

The storyline injects subplots with interesting layers that add to the depth of each and every character. You have Jack Sparrow carrying out his own freewheeling sense of adventure; Elizabeth Swann follows her own plot-twisting fate, and Jack Turner with his own personal quest. But despite the spotlight on the main characters, the movie never fails to share that spotlight with the rest of the interesting crew of characters, which includes the two formerly-ghost-pirates who survived the battle of the previous movie.

The visuals were stunningly superb. Not only in terms of CGI effects, but also of the sceneries and the settings it has. From the tropical mountainous regions to white sand beaches that glimmer in surreal beauty. Then, there is director Gore Verbinski's formula for adventurous fun, particularly with his inventive sequences that remind me of Spielberg's craftiness for non-stop action scenes like those in the old "Indiana Jones" movies. The kind of action-adventure that really makes you sweat in cinematic marvel and the thrilling intensity of a roller-coaster ride: Continuous and seemingly never pauses half a second for a break. The film's quality is reminiscent of Spielberg's early blockbuster hits; the kind that has good acting, a well-developed storyline and an underlined emphasis on Grade A eye candy.

But not to be easily dismissed as just mere eye candy, the film manages to pull off a really interesting storyline as well. By the time the excitement settles down, you may find that it is hard to compare this movie with the storyline of other recent movies of the same genre as well, since it does carry its own sense of originality.

Orlando Bloom has further proved that he is more of an action-adventure actor despite his “non-action hero cliché look”, compensating on his skills as an actor that can evoke a strong onscreen personality. Keira Knightley is not only unbelievably beautiful but also carries the rugged high-seas adventurer look with just enough gutsy spirit for a character with such strong convictions.

The main villain Davy Jones is one cool mean machine villain. The kind of villain that would do both send shivers down your spine and capture your sympathy and admiration for his ruthless charismatic coolness, enough to make you just want to vote him as villain of the year. Davy Jones is played by Bill Nighy who appeared in “Love Actually” and made his mark as one of the more cool characters in the vampire saga "Underworld" playing the Vampire Elder Viktor. Nighy injects such a menacing energy as Jones, Having such a biting stare that can be noticed even with the CGI tentacles around his face. An acting performance that is never upstaged by the visual effects. The entire look of an octopus-like Davy Jones synchs well with Nighy's performance as an outstanding actor.

Jack Sparrow certainly has become an action adventure icon, an instant beloved antihero swashbuckler immortalized by Johnny Depp's comedic charm. Ever-funny, ever-weird, this cartoonish rocker pirate was inspired by Rolling Stone Rock N' Roll legend Keith Richards, who supposedly had a role in this movie, but promises to appear in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Yes, there is going to be a part 3, since this filmed was filmed side-by-side the filming of the part 3, and it is due out next year.

At $132 million dollars domestically in its opening weekend, this movie smashed the previously believed "unbreakable" record of $114.8 million dollars that “Spider-Man” held. It is the biggest weekend opener of all time. Being the kind of movie that appeals to all ages, it defines the reason why we go to watch movies in the first place: To be entertained. And this movie is indeed Sheer Entertainment. Undeniably this summer’s biggest thrill-ride, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST is definitely a roller-coaster of action, laughter, cheers, thrills, and high seas pirate adventure.

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