Darmin CameronIn the Picture

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest

Directed by Gore Verbinski

Rated M

Fifteen men on a dead mans chest, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Rum is the only spirit in this sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean. Gone are the undead ghosts from the first Pirates movie, replaced by more bizarre and grotesque creatures from the briny deep.

Hard to imagine anything worse than the originals cursed living dead, but the producers have managed to create an assortment of monsters that would send a chill up the spine of any weekend boatie. Im glad the government has put the brakes on fishing; Im not going out there anymore, not with Davey Jones and his crew on the lookout for a few extra deckhands. An eternity of smelling and looking like rotten prawns. This is the fate that waits Captain Jack Sparrow if Davey Jones catches up with him.

The new Pirates picks up pretty much where the first left off, only the classic Hollywood happy ending quickly comes to a sudden halt with the arrival in the Caribbean of a villain from the East India Trading Company, Lord Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander). He is pure evil and all he wears is a wig, where as the other bad guys in the film wear enough make-up and CGI to sink a battleship. Hard to beat a good actor in a good role. Hard to beat big business and governments when they team up, as they do in Dead Mans Chest.

All the big stars from the first film are back Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp. Hmmm... Johnny Depp. This man has everything he oozes sex appeal and hes a bad boy. What a package! How can Keiras character Elizabeth resist him? How can anyone resist him? Elizabeth dresses as a boy sometimes so I suppose that explains a lot.

The film does suffer a bit from sequelitis, and the producers have worked hard to overcome it and I think the refit has worked. The chase scenes are innovative and funny and of course Johnny is in them, with other actors of course. It is a swashbuckling adventure and Id swashbuckle with Johnny any day, if he would have me as his wench. Things were different in those days.

The moral of the story seems to be: If youre bad and try to redeem yourself sorry its too late, take this! Good people dont forgive. Life is a bit extreme in the Caribbean and Tortuga, the pirates hangout, is almost as bad as Byron on New Years Eve before they formed the Committee and the Voodoo scenes are reminiscent of a Mullum doof on bad ecstasy.

The film builds to a great climax and the ending has a touch of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

I would have happily sat in the cinema and watched Pirates 3: At Worlds End if it had come on.


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