Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Time Out says
As part of a franchise famously based on a theme park ride, ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ lives up to its heritage with regular bouts of adrenalised spectacle – cannibals are dodged and ravines tumbled down, giant tentacles flail and ships crack and sink – and a structuring principle of ‘again! again!’ It’s not without excitement or wit, but as the two-and-a-half hour running time wore on, I increasingly felt that I’d seen this bit before, thanks, and would rather like to get off now.
Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio’s screenplay takes familiarity with the first film for granted, but is conspicuously unconcerned with internal cohesion, wheeling on characters from the backstory (Jack Davenport, Stellan Skarsgård) without giving them anything interesting or constructive to do. Nighy gives good sneer even from behind a molluscan carapace and Depp remains great fun, all swaggering slur and tipsy mince. But Bloom and Knightley are wet through before leaving land and as the film heaves from one muddily motivated set-piece to the next, McGuffins accruing like barnacles all the while (the sketch! the key! the papers! the chest! the heart!), it takes on the sinking feeling of a vessel adrift, sending out flares.
Cast and crew