I finally purchased a DVD of the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest movie. I had seen it in the theaters and thought it was entertaining, but it seemed to suffer a bit from everything but the kitchen sink thrown into it. Several seafaring legends are cobbled together, and almost every single supporting character from the first movie returns in this one, plus a whole host of new ones are added. It was a wonder that the movie didn’t sink from under all this baggage. I especially didn’t care for all the CGI; which seemed to me to be superfluous. The seafaring legends are sufficiently creepy on their own, and makeup and lighting, plus the acting would’ve sufficed. Strangely, it all seemed to work, even if barely, and I thought it was that rarity, a fun movie that works on many levels and for a wide audience.
I was reluctant to watch it again because it didn’t seem like a movie that would wear well upon second viewing, but there are so few fun movies being made I decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, this time finding satisfaction in recognizing that more depth was added to the Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom characters. These two are no longer just set decoration.
I have to observe that in my opinion it is the great acting, in all the major and minor roles, that lets this movie rise above the hodgepodge of characters and story.
Also, seems to me that everyone on the entire production crew is having fun with this, and relishing their involvement, and their enthusiasm has translated onto the screen. This quality is something that was present on the original Star Wars movies (episodes 4, 5, and 6), which allowed those productions to rise above their material, and conspicuously absent in the latter ones (episodes 1, 2, and 3). The later versions are so joyless that it was a relief to hear that George Lucas won’t be making any more of them.