Pirates II – Review Roundup

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, you know that the biggest film of the summer opens today (and I’m not talking about Once In A Lifetime). Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest looks to put the fun back into summer films, the swish back into swash bucling, and host the legend of Captain Jack Sparrow one more notch on the flag pole.

Alas, I still have yet to see the film or the changes to either Pirates attraction. I’ll be fixing at least one of those problems this weekend. But in the meantime here is a peppering of reviews from around the world and the WWW.

Criticland

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel, knows a good popcorn flick when he sees one.

Here’s the movie to put the giddy back in the giddy-ap of summer. The Saucy, sassy, swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest has more of everything we loved from the first Pirates movie — more fights, more spectacle. More Johnny Depp. More "yo ho ho." More rum.

Moore gives this 4 out of 5 stars and he doesn’t give out stars lightly either.

Lisa Schwarzbaum, EW, is considerably harsher on this movie than most critics.

"Pirates" 2.0 is a theme ride, if by ride you mean a hellish contraption into which a ticket holder is strapped, overstimulated but unsatisfied, and unable to disengage until the operator releases the restraining harness.

Heh, Heh. That made me chuckle. She clearly has some issues accepting that movies (and themeparks) can sometimes just be fun served on a silver platter.

Claudia Puig, USA TODAY, A mixed review, but still gives it 3 of 4 stars.

Were it not for the surefire allure of Johnny Depp in his quirky, swaggering repeat performance as Capt. Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest  would be just another sequel: bigger, splashier, costlier, but not necessarily better.

Don’t miss the rest of the USA Today coverage either. Check out the links in the review’s sidebar

Joel Siegel
, ABC: perhaps he’s a shill for the company, but his review is the most glowing I’ve yet read from the realm of movie critics.

This film is so much fun. The cast has fun. The audience has fun. Your popcorn tastes better, it’s that much fun. And all the other wannabe summer blockbusters have been so serious and glum. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" is the best summer movie of the summer.

A somewhat redundant review, but an A- grade for the movie.

A. O. Scott, NY Times, ponders the obligations of the audience to the movie trilogy, is buying a ticket for film two also buying a ticket for film three if you want to see how this all works out.

The question is: Is it worth it? The same thought probably crosses the minds of Disney theme-park vacationers as they endure endless lines for the ride on which the movies are based, but the notion is quickly banished because nobody likes to feel like a sucker.

For me the answer is yes.

Blogland

Neil, who’s blog ‘The Modern Guy’ is a wealth of great posts, gives the movie four of five stars.

Dead Man’s Chest is a delightful movie theater experience. It has every element that we have come to love from great summer movies of the past; heart-pounding action, expert comedic timing, and characters that we will not soon forget. In short, this is one of those films that you absolutely must experience in the theater, as it is just that much fun.

Scott, at Cinematical, notes the fact that Pirates II is a middle film of a trilogy plays a big role and offers some advice to potentially confused viewers:

Every time you start mentally tripping over the numerous and semi-circuitous plot threads, just remember one thing: It’s a treasure hunt. Everyone’s after A) a compass, B) a key, C) a chest, or D) the mysterious contents of the chest. Just focus on each character’s "why" and you’ll be just fine.

Meanwhile James, also at Cinematical, is not so positive

it’s so sad to watch Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest — a movie waterlogged and weighed down by plot devices and extraneous characters that’s got all the sprightly grace of a man long drowned.

Kali enjoyed the film

it’s much more complex than the last film with the A-plot: Jack having to repay his debt to Davy Jones and him trying to wiggle out of it, B-plot of Will and Elizabeth trying to do the East India Trading Company’s dirty work for them plus a myriad of little threads inbetween.

The rest of her review is somewhat spoiler filled, though she does hide some of the spoilers behind white text.

Lurkitty:

There are verbal and visual belly laughs, swordfights aplenty and, well, as soon as you see the old water wheel, you just know something is going to happen. But you’d never guess that what happens is what happens.

A positive review although she admits it starts off somewhat slow.

Finally over at Metacritic, the combined ‘critics’ score currently stands at a dismal 5.2 out of 10, but the average fan’s rating is 8.8 out of 10. Somebody is out of whack here. Actually, since blockbusters rarely get 8.0 or 9.0 ratings from critics, that tends to drop the over all score a bit. Moviegoers, on the otherhand, are more concerned about the entertainment value for the dollar and here Pirates clearly delivers.

Please let me know if you’ve posted a review and I’ll do what I can to link to it here.

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6 thoughts on “Pirates II – Review Roundup

  1. Yepsen

    I went to a 12:01am showing this morning/last night. I arrived 1-1/2 hour early and found the theater with an allready noticeable crowd. Within 1/2 an hour of the show, it was pretty well full with the noticeable excpetion of people who apparently had no idea they were going to the premier of the summer biggest movie in the 3rd largest city in the country.

    I’d have to say I like it, but I didn’t love it. Audience reaction was good; Jack Sparrow got a lively round of applause and cheers when he first showed up on screen and there were plenty of laughs and gasps throughout the nearly 3 hour movie.

    Although I left feeling a bit underwhelmed, I think that if I were to watch it a second time, I would like it more. And they set up BEAUTIFULLY (in my opinion) for the 3rd. All-in-all you get what you want, a fun summer movie with some great action and fight scenes, some hilarious moments, amazing special effects and a deeper look into the key characters ( there are also some great POTC-ride references), but this is not an earth-shattering moment of cinematic brilliance.

    Good, but not great. If you loved the first, you’ll surely enjoy the second. I just hope that the 3rd makes up for where the 2nd lacks, which really, I can’t put my finger on.

    There’s my 2 pieces-of-eight.

  2. Keith Demko

    Roger Moore is simply the best movie critic working today .. He understands what a good popcorn flick is .. can’t wait to see this one tomorrow!

  3. Frankenseuss

    I loved the movie and look forward to seeing it again. But one thing I haven’t seen anyone else comment on is the gorgeous new Disney logo at the beginning. It’s basically a “live action” looking remake of the old castle logo. Perhaps it actually debuted on some other live action Disney movie I haven’t seen, but I’m pretty sure this is its first appearance. I think it’s great to have it on this movie, since both of the pirates movies remind me so much of what I love about old school Disney (live action, animated AND animatronic).

  4. Bonnie

    Ok – I heard all the negative before going and it made it better! I kept waiting for the movie to get bad…. it never did! If you grew up in a time where pirates were pirates – then this movie had it all! I laughed begining to end! THe music was outstanding – the acting was a hoot and the story had it all! I also enjoyed the political humor! Hope the right caught it!

  5. Gene Willeke

    Easily one of the worst 10 movies I have ever seen, with almost no redeeming qualities. Fun? You have to be kidding!

  6. Marion Steele

    I note in the Disney stores the small figures of Tinkerbell are the best sellers and I do feel who-ever dreampt this up is a great artist. It already is more popular than Mickey Mouse.

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