Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Chris Release date: July 7, 2006 Released by: Walt Disney Pictures
Part II of the successful action-comedy series brings us the return of Captain Jack (Johnny Depp), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and his love Elizabeth (Keira Knightley).
This time around they are battling vicious sea creatures, a giant ship-engulfing octopus and wild man-eating island natives. It's a mixed bag as the time spent with the sea creatures on Davy Jones' ship is entirely too long, but the action on the island is great fun. By snipping some of the monotonous Davy Jones scenes, the 2 1/2 hour film would have been easier to sit through. Depp is still having fun with the swishy, kohl-eyed character, but Bloom and Knightley's roles have been cut to make room for the pirate creatures. With octopus tentacles hanging down on grotesque heads, crab faces on human forms, slime covered and barnacle spouting creatures, each one more revolting-looking than the next, the three main characters have their work cut out for them.
There's a complicated plot involving a secret key which opens a hidden chest, which contains a beating heart, all of which makes no sense and bogs down the flow of action.
Luckily there's also some great lighthearted action that mixes with the darker violence. A couple of fun sword fights, and the highlight of the film, is a terrific escape romp that has our heroes attempting to outrun hungry cannibals. They get caught up in a giant water wheel that bounces down a mountainside, it's slapstick and great fun to watch.
There's a lot of enjoyable action here, which should be good news to Disney Studios, who have already made part III, which they promo at the end of the film.
Captain Jack is a wonderfully goofy character, and by the hoots and laughs of the audience whenever he is on screen, a popular one at that! I would have been happier if there was a simpler plot and more interaction with the three main characters. Even so, it looks like a big winner to me.
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