At the moment the highlights in the cinema few and far between, so I was very anxious to see the second part of the Curse of the Caribbean saga featuring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. As the film has already been released in the USA, I read some reviews of Dead Man´s Chest and some of them weren´t very positive, criticizing the film for being too long and intransparent and calling its sense of humour shallow. But what´s that thing they say about opinions? Everyone should form their own! My opinion differs completely from that of most of my American colleagues, but more about that later.
About the story: This time Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), who only just managed to escape the Curse of the Black Pearl in the last film, is confronted with a new, life-threatening adventure: Jack is in lifelong debt to Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), the legendary captain of the Flying Dutchman and the ruler of the depths of the ocean. If he doesn´t find a way to break the spell, he will be damned to a hellish life after death in eternal darkness. As if that wasn´t bad enough, on top of everything else Jack´s particularly existential problems prove to be an obstacle for the upcoming wedding of his friends Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), who are dragged into the continuous adventures of the captain against their will. So the adventure begins… (Walt Disney Pictures)
Behind the scenes In part 2 of the pirate saga Jerry Bruckheimer wants to introduce the audience to some good old pirate myth and uses the most well known legend of all - that of the Flying Dutchman. Of course, here and there elements have been left out or made up, but the film wasn´t meant to be a biography, it´s just supposed to be fun and to convey the right feeling: Bottoms up! The second film features the same characters and cast as the first one. The third film was recorded at the same time as the second (I am not sure whether they have finished this one yet) and will also feature the same characters. Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer, made the following statement: "The Curse of the Caribbean will be a promise, which is kept with parts two and three.” The films were shot partly on Dominica, which is an island belonging to the Grenadines, and partly on the Bahamas, where an enormous water tank was built.
The film "Curse of the Caribbean II - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man´s Chest" As in the first film, the cast is excellent and lives up to expectations. Johnny Depp as the wacky Captain Jack Sparrow shines in his role, to which according to director Verbinski Depp himself added the specific character traits. Orlando Bloom is put in a difficult position, playing side by side with Depp, but it doesn´t affect his part in a negative way. Keira Knightley´s character is once again honey-sweet and the supporting characters have been elaborated and adapted.
Production-wise there is nothing to complain about. The animations are very realistic and the images are lively and colourful and every scene shows a great sense of detail without being too dependent on it. Well, with a budget of 200 million dollars, one may expect this level of perfection.
The villains – or rather the ghastly figures – are once again magnificent! The cursed crew of the Flying Dutchman has been bound to the ship for many years, performing their tasks in an undead state. The Disney crew has tried to give expression to that by giving the crew members nasty aquatic parasites and some of them have even started to become part of the ship. But Disney villains are never completely evil and some sympathetic points can also be found in this film.
The ending of the film is unfortunately open and now it´s a matter of waiting, probably until the spring of 2007, for the final part of the saga. I´m looking forward to it already.