Wookiee Hut Movie Reviews presents:
Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest

Movie Review by Rosie, PlazaQueen, PandaCat

Director:Gore Verbinski

Creator:Walt Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean Ride

Starring:Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Kiera Knightley, et al.

Rating: Super Star Destroyer

Film trilogies are a format we at Wookieehut hold near and dear to our hearts. After all, we were originally inspired to create and write our own fanfic by the first Star Wars trilogy — and then second ...

Pirates of the Caribbean follows the formula closely so far. The callow youth finds himself drawn into unexpected adventure; meets a beautiful, spirited girl; and is befriended (and loosely mentored) by a loveable rogue. Together they overcome obstacles to accomplish a task and their lives are forever intertwined.

In Pirates of the Caribbean II: Dead Man's Chest, our callow youth, Will Turner, is offered a pardon for the charges of piracy brought against him if he retrieves a valuable artifact from his friend, the lovable (but not always trustworthy) rogue, Captain Jack Sparrow. His love, the beautiful Elizabeth Swann, is held hostage against Turner's return with the artifact. Will goes after Jack to get the artifact, but is drawn into Jack's troubles with a formidable adversary. Elizabeth, not one to sit and wait, escapes and catches up to Will and Jack and becomes embroiled in their dangerous escapade. Jack makes a noble choice and appears to pay the ultimate price, but help from an unexpected quarter offers the possibility that he can be saved. Stay tuned for the climax of the trilogy.

Let me say here for the record, this movie was brilliantly done. Walt Disney created the theme park ride the movies are based on so the film makers had a lot to live up to. Like the first movie, this one felt like a roller coaster ride. The special effects were spectacular. I jumped in my seat more than once. The creatures and characters were well executed both in regard to the special effects and their interaction. Jack's reaction to getting slimed by the kraken is priceless. He is in fine form throughout.

The action sequences get the audience's adrenaline pumping — and laughing too. Shish-ka-Jack running through the jungle — still wearing a toe necklace. 'nough said. Will and Jack's crew swinging in and running through the jungle inside a bone cage garnered "eeeeew's" and giggles.

Jack is not the only one who provides a touch of humor. Pintel and Ragetti, the two pirates who look out for themselves when the opportunities present themselves, had us giggling. The voodoo woman is creepily funny too in how she teases Jack and his friends before helping them.

And getting back to slime… This fun fantasy adventure movie even pays glancing homage to real history. The East India Trading Company really did exist and used any and all means to control the seas and dominate all trade. The representative of the East India Trading Company portrayed in the movie is a slimy as they come. Arresting the governor's daughter as leverage clearly signals his lack of honor — and he is not the only one. Commodore Norrington, whose fall from grace lands him in a position to betray Jack, gives up his honor to regain the prestige he once held as a naval commander.

To balance the action, humor, and intrigue, there are moments of poignancy interspersed throughout the film. Will realizes that Jack tricked him into taking his place on the cursed ship the Flying Dutchman under the command of the gruesome Davy Jones. He discovers his father Bootstrap Bill on the ship. The reunion is fraught with strain and anger because Will does not at first understand that his father administering the lashing is actually an act of compassion — saving him from the more vicious attentions of the first mate.

Will then reluctantly leaves his father, but promises not to rest until he can be freed. Elizabeth, spending time with Jack before being reunited with Will, becomes confused in her feelings — and Will sees her confusion. Elizabeth tells Jack that she believes he is more honorable than he lets on. She is proven right when he is free to run from danger, but chooses to return to his ship and fight with his shipmates. The crew of the Black Pearl mourn Jack and in their despair they agree to the unthinkable to bring back their captain.

Pirates II is jam-packed. Get to the theater to see it on the big screen. Then add it to your must-have DVD list. It's worth it.

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