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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Our Rating
3½ Stars - Good
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Directed By
Gore Verbinski
Run Time
2 hours 31 minutes
Cast
Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
Theatre Release
July 07, 2006 by Buena Vista Pictures

A good film always starts with good writing. People used to say comic books weren't filmable, but smart scripting has developed them into a respected genre. Skimpy children's books have been fleshed out into quality entertainment, and someday they'll finally make a decent movie based on a video game. Hey, why not use a soft drink commercial as inspiration? Because if they can make a blockbuster inspired by an old and dank Disneyland theme park ride, I'm convinced anything's possible if written well.

Few thought 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl would be a hit, but it was one of the year's most pleasant surprises—a funny, swashbuckling thrill ride that ultimately grossed more than $650 million worldwide. And now, few think that a sequel can possibly match that success or yield an equally amusing film.

Think again. Expectations are surpassed once again with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, a film that not only lives up to its predecessor, but elevates it into a delightful saga that falls somewhere between the classic Indiana Jones films and the more recent Mummy movies.

What many people don't realize is that writers Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio (Shrek and 1998's similarly swashbuckling The Mask of Zorro) envisioned Pirates as a trilogy. With the success of the first movie, the next two chapters were ensured, filming back-to-back to save on production costs—yes, Dead Man's Chest is a cliffhanger to be concluded next summer. Moreover, the people responsible for the first movie have all returned—not just Elliot, Rossio, and the lead actors, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski, and most of the supporting players as well.

Our story begins with Elizabeth Swann ...

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