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Monday, June 22, 2009

Pirates of the Caribean 2 movie review

Captain Jack Will Get You High Tonight.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest movie review

By James Bo Gorcesky 7/28/06

The film opens up dark, mysterious and gory. I laugh hard as I see men dragged to their deaths in a mysterious foreboding castle. A caged prisoner is attacked by a flock of crows and his eyeballs are gauged out like in a bad Argento film. But one man is able to escape such a fate as he sails away in a homemade casket boat with a decrepit boney leg to paddle back to his Black Pearl.

I havent seen the first Pirate film since it came out in the theatres a few years ago. So, being able to recall who was in the last film (as far as supporting cast was concerned) was a little misty for me. But the film remains true to promises of nonstop action, excitement, great special effects, constant comedy relief and carries a heavy amount of sex appeal from Depp, to Knightley, to Bloom Hell, even Davy Jones has got it going for him with those weird tentacle things attached to his Octopussy face.

Warning: Spoilers and Rough Waters Ahead, my mateys..

Ah yes, Davy Jones is the main villain of this film and is totally the SCENE STEALER. Davy (as played by Bill Nighy) is an entirely CGI generated villain whom looks like a cross between an Octopus and a Lobster. Bill Nighy, whom most nerds might remember from his roles in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Underworld, and Shaun of the Dead, {remember, he played Philip? The boyfriend of Shauns mom who he just couldnt stand and eventually became a Zombie?!} Anyway, Nighy ended up wearing a motion capture suit with tons of reference points. Kinda like balls on his chin, but not like the same balls that the Anarachist likes near his mouth ;) So the crew of ILM designed this totally cool looking guy, whose just sudden movements of his upper lip or smoking a pipe totally distracts the audience onto his every move.

So think of Davy as Faust of the Seven Seas the lord of his infamous Locker and Captain of his ancient ship The Flying Dutchman, the writers of the film ingeniously created a little back story about Davy, and there is this chest with his heart in it (Dead Mans Chest GET IT?). But Jack has found that there is a map to get to the key which unlocks the chest, but he needs to suck in as many of his friends that he can to get it. Ill explain

You remember the trading company from the first film? Well, they have Orlando Bloom and Knightley under arrest because they helped Jack Sparrow escape at the end of the last picture. So Knightley will be put to death unless Bloom can get the magical compass that Jack Sparrow has on him. Thusly, the trading company will be able to control the whole world and all her waters (kinda like the British Empire actually trying to rule the world around the same time this film takes place.) So Bloom must go out in order to get the compass, but first he must find Jack.

Jack is currently on his own quest on how to find this mystical key. He is awoken at night by Bootstrap (Blooms father). Bootstrap is now this cool looking Water Zombie (kinda like a mixture of the sea creature zombies from Creepshow but with the watery wrinkled look that the director Gore Verbinski captured in The Ring). So Bootstrap is now a zombie slave crew member for Davy Jones and Jack is next. Jack owes Davy for a deal he made years ago in order to become the Captain of the Black Pearl for ten years. Jack, who is a coward, needs to find a way to escape death yet again and how to sucker other people in to cover his ars.

In classical (and excellent screenwriting fashion) you have two or more characters wanting something with conflicted interests. Bloom and Sparrow end up meeting together after Bloom ends up indelibly saving Jack and his crew from an island of cannibals. To repay his friend, Jack strikes a bargain so that Bloom will end up getting traded soul for soul on the Flying Dutchman. Bloom ends up meeting Davy Jones and says, Jack Sparrow sent me to repay an old debt, in doing so, it pisses off Davy and wants his promise paid back in full.

Another deal is struck; Jack wagers that his soul is worth one hundred souls to go down to the locker instead. There also becomes this fun sorta atheist/Spanish Inquisition undertone where Davy Jones promises people to end their sufferings if they join his crew for a hundred years. Which, personally, I think is a shitty deal because you end up being super old and decrepit and you look like an extra off the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles supporting cast. But the special effects on the film were so awesome that they created such monsters. Each of the sixteen crewmen on Jones ship (excluding Bootstrap) were entirely digitized. The mannerisms and facial expressions ALONE on the Davy Jones character make you wonder constantly is that a guy in a rubber suit, a robot or some entirely digital manifestation?

So Jack becomes transfixed on how he is going to save himself yet again, now this adventure not only costs a few people that are close to him their lives but a hundred of innocent ones. But where to get these innocent slobs can only be found on the pirate port of Tortuga. Here, Jack enlists the aid of many of some broken and beaten down men, one in particular is Cutler Beckett, whom was to wed Knightley in the first film but is now spending his time wallowing in pig shit. Cutler joins, as does Knightley (whom has caught up with the adventurers after single handedly escaped her own prison,) and we also have those two bungling comedic relievers Pintel and Rhagetti; who were evil pirate ghosts in the last film but have now returned to find their own redemptions by making us laugh and chasing a wooden eye ball around scenes.

The crew is now together, but it is only Knightley who can properly utilize Jacks compass and direct them to where the chest is (no, not her chest). The crew now has an idea on where to go and set sail, as Bloom deals with his own misfortunes. He ends up playing this game of Liars Dice between Davy Jones, Bootstrap and himself. The gamble is about freedom, and how he could wager himself to be free of Davy Jones along with his father against the key to the chest which Jones holds so dear. Bloom ends up winning the match, but his father ends up getting suckered into a much longer time of servitude. Before Bloom escapes, he steals the key from Jones as he slumbers on his Captain Nemo-like organ in the middle of the night.

Jack and his crew arrive at the island and dig up the chest, just as Bloom arrives with the stolen key. But everyone is hot on their tail in order to get back what is properly theirs and everyone wants a piece of everyones action. Conflict and tensions rise because somebody wants to steal the heart, somebody wants to kill it, somebody wants to keep it to themselves and another wants to use it as ransom to, dare I say.rule the world? Everyone fights over the damn thing; high speed chases on the seven seas ensue after the evil beast of THE KRAKEN is beckoned by Davy Jones. No, Im not talking about the same monster from the very awesome Clash of the Titans, nor of the ride you might find in Sea World. This nasty looking beast is a mythical creature whom Jones uses to do his nasty bidding and by dragging men down to their watery graves at the locker.

There are some really fun fights and action sequences all throughout the remainder of the film as one untold mini-plot unfolds into another. Although a lot of people are criticizing that this film has no plot it is chock full of a lot of mini plots. This film is A LOT of fun, and its primarily all about one person wanting one thing, but in order to get that, they must make a deal in order to get it. This film isnt meant to be seen as a simple A to B plot point story line. With a third Pirates installment along the way (which was shot back to back with this Pirates film) it can now be clearly seen that these three movies are intended to be one really big unfolding adventure (full of many tiny adventures along the way).

Hands down, this isnt the most exciting film of the season for me. I totally geeked out a lot more in Superman, but even though this film is about the same length youre not finding those same Superman sagging boring points in this movie. Its always about one constant adventure after another and you rarely have enough time to sit back and relax. The special effects are definitely awesome, especially when you have the boys of ILM creating some of the best original characters and one new beasty youll be sure to never forget (think about the Sarlacc Pit from Return of the Jedi but with a lot of little sucker filled tentacles ready to bash and suck men down to their deaths.) It is definitely recommended to check out this movie for the year. Even though I am a bigger comic book fan, its unfortunately looking more and more likely that Pirates is the movie to own the summer of 2006. But you never know about some sleepers on the rise, we do have Snakes on the Plane just around the corner :D

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