James Norrington: I believe thanks are in order. [Grabs Jack’s had, pulls up sleeve revealing pirate brand] Had a brush with the East India Trading Company, did we, pirate? Governor Swann: Hang him. Norrington: Keep your guns on him, men. Gillette, fetch some irons. [Pulls up Jack’s sleeve more, revealing tattoo] Well, well. Jack Sparrow, isn’t it? Jack Sparrow: Captain Jack Sparrow, if you please, sir. Norrington: Well I don’t see your ship, Captain. Sparrow: I’m in the market, as it were. Murtogg: He said he’d come to commandeer one. Mullroy: Told you he was telling the truth. These are his, sir. Norrington: [Inspects pistol]No additional shot nor powder. [Inspects compass] A compass that doesn’t point North. [Inspects sword] And I half expected it to be made of wood. You are without doubt the worst pirate I have ever heard of. Sparrow: But you have heard of me.
Thanks for everyone’s submissions and one wooden sword to the following people for answering correctly:
Thirteen years ago, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) made a deal with Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) to raise the Black Pearl from the depths of the sea. Now Jones is looking to collect his debt. Jack, along with Gibbs (Kevin McNally) and the rest of his crew, goes in search of the mysterious Dead Man’s Chest to escape Jones’ wrath. All the while being pursued by Cutler Beckett (Tom Hollander) and the East India Trading Company.
Review Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a difficult film to follow up. Dead Man’s Chest does a decent job but it doesn’t quite reach the height its predecessor does. That’s not to say it’s not good, it just wasn’t as entertaining. I’ve already raved about the core cast members returning from the last film so I won’t talk about them again, but they are marvelous here as well. The most exciting addition to the Pirates universe is the caretaker of dead sailors, Davy Jones. Bill Nighy did an excellent job with the character’s body language, giving him a creepy walk and jerky body movements.
One of my favorite aspects about The Curse of the Black Pearl was how it drew inspiration from sailor myth as the backdrop for the story. Dead Man’s Chest incorporated more lore into the story, such as Davy Jones’ Locker, Davy Jones himself, and the monstrous sea beast, the Kraken. I don’t know why I like this so much but I think it is great that old maritime legends are such a huge part of these films.
Speaking of Davy Jones, the special effects on him and his crew look phenomenal. The character design of them, how they have become bits and pieces of different sea creatures is unique and very realistic looking. Pirates in films tend to have a very generic look, and so can undead beings, but no two members of Davy Jones’ crew look alike whatsoever. Having all kinds of sea creatures assimilate into the various crew members also offer several comedic opportunities, such as one who loses his head, which happens to be a hermit crab, so he has to coach his body back to him.
Hans Zimmer takes over composing duties from Klaus Badelt and, no surprise, it is amazing. Much of the organ stuff (very technical, I know) is so much fun to listen to and perfectly captures the essence of Davy Jones. He does integrate Badelt’s iconic He’s A Pirate (the main theme from the first Pirates film) but mostly goes in his own direction, creating a fantastic blend of the two styles.
My favorite fight scene was a three way duel between Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Edward Norrington. It occurs over a variety of terrains, including the beach, forest, inside an abandoned building, and a water wheel. Dead Man’s Chest was chock full of action pieces like this, making sure it never get too dull.
Dead Man’s Chest does well to expand on the Pirates of the Caribbean universe, bringing in such legends as Davy Jones’ Locker and the Kraken. It’s not quite as entertaining as The Curse of the Black Pearl but it does what every good sequel should do and ups the stakes for the characters, and adding some memorable characters along the way.
Cast & Crew
Gore Verbinski – Director
Ted Elliot – Writer
Terry Rossio – Writer
Hans Zimmer – Composer
Johnny Depp – Jack Sparrow
Orlando Bloom – Will Turner
Keira Knightly – Elizabeth Swann
Kevin McNally – Joshamee Gibbs
Jack Davenport – Edward Norrington
Bill Nighy – Davy Jones
Jonathan Pryce – Governor Weatherby Swann
Tom Hollander – Cutler Beckett
Lee Arenberg – Pintel
Mackenzie Crook – Ragetti
Stellen Skarsgard – Bootstrap Bill
David Bailie – Cotton
Naomie Harris – Tia Dalma
Martin Klebba – Marty
David Schofield – Mercer
Alex Norton – Captain Bellamy
Ten years ago, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) left his captain, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), stranded on an island and discovered a cursed treasure with the crew of the Black Pearl. In order to lift the curse, all the gold pieces must be returned. They have all been returned, all except one, which is in the possession of Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightley) in Port Royal. When the pirates attack Port Royal and kidnap Elizabeth, Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) enlists the help of Jack Sparrow to pursue Barbossa and rescue Elizabeth.
Disney took a big risk creating a movie based off one of their most successful amusement rides. In a typical Disney fashion, the studio was able to pull it off. Pirates of the Caribbean: TheCurse of the Black Pearl has a perfect mix of action, romance, fantasy, and drama. There is a little bit for every movie lover, regardless of tastes.
Easily one of the best things about this film is the cast. I think Johnny Depp has the standout performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. You can tell there is something not quite there with Jack but maybe he is smarter than he lets on. Depp balances all facets of the character perfectly. My second favorite performance would have to be Geoffrey rush as Captain Barbossa. He definitely pulls of the pirate captain attitude. Orlando Bloom as William Turner and Kiera Knightly as Elizabeth Swann are pretty good as well.
Another strong aspect about The Curse of the Black Pearl is that it harmoniously balances all of its elements. It never spends too much time focusing on one thing. Some time is spent on the action, then it moves to building Will’s and Elizabeth’s relationship, then some stuff with Jack, then more action and so on and so forth. There is no dawdling on each scene but at the same time, each moment is given the necessary time to flourish. Despite the somewhat wide cast, all the characters have their moments and are well developed.
I really like the supernatural element of the plot. This movie incorporates the sailors’ stories of ghost ships on the high seas. It could have misused this element and easily become a corny horror flick. But it doesn’t. It maintains its composure and weaves an excellent character-driven story that moves around the supernatural and uses it to further build the characters.
In any traditional Disney film, there are comedic relief characters. In this case there are two comedy duos, one on the pirates side and one one the British side. They both have their laugh out loud moments, but I think the pirate duo was the funnier of the two. Being skeletons gives them better variety of visual gags. That and their lines were simply funnier.
The score, composed by Klaus Badelt, is one of my favorite movie scores. He’s a Pirate is instantaneously recognizable. I don’t know much about Badelt, but if his other movie scores are half as good as this, he’s OK in my book.
Based on an amusement ride, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl on paper probably should not have done as well as it did (let alone spawn a whole series). Against the odds, it somehow manages to take a fantastic character-driven story and mixe it with mythical elements from old sailor stories, creating a blockbuster that is one of Disney’s best live-action films.