Well … interesting film. I honestly think it’s a mixed bag of bad, good and really amazing.


Length: C
First off, the movie is way too long. By the time we get to the amazing spectacle of the last hour, we’ve been desensitized and the ‘wow factor’ is somewhat played out. The pacing is off in the first act, and the plot is somewhat confusing and some things are just overplayed too much. This film could easily have been 120 minutes. Instead, we’re cruising past two and a half hours.

Ciematography: A
Great cinematography takes some of the pain of the long cut away. This film is sweeping, epic and visually stunning. Whew! But, it still can’t save it outright and there’s just not enough action sequences to keep me interested. But oh when they come, they’re absolutely amazing – in the meantime I’m bummed by long setups and wayyyy to much story. This is a summer spectacular, kill me with the action, baby!

Acting: B+
Captain Jack Sparrow is now more feminine and drunk than ever – and sometimes it’s over the top but he is a scene stealer. I love his pithy phrases, people were saying ‘oh bugger’ as soon as we left the theater. I did think that perhaps some of the funny moments were misplaced, or maybe that’s Pirates charm and I just missed it. Kiera Knightly is sadly underused, not believeable as a paige boy stowaway and the love-triangle at the end utterly confused me. What? Isn’t this whole thing because of Will Turner’s love for her? Of course, she left her lover in the first film for him, so perhaps she’s doing the same again. Most of the characters are pretty one-dimensional – so I’m hoping this is just setting up the 3rd film where we’ll appreciate more nuances of the writing and characters.

Action Scenes: A
As I mentioned that are far too few, but truly stunning. Or maybe there are enough, it’s just that the first 1.5 hours of the film don’t contain any of them. Yes, that’s it.

Visual effects: A
Industrial Light and Magic (of Star Wars fame) have really created some amazing special effects here. There are scores of fantastic digital characters, complete with the main villian of the film Davy Jones. This is some stunning stuff you’ve never seen before! I can only remember 2 scenes that looked somewhat fakey (both involving the Cracken, which had to have been the most difficult scene to make believable). GREAT work.

Sound effects: A
Great sound effects – I especially love the sound of Captain Davy’s octopus beard. There’s plenty to see and hear – it all fits nicely, well done.

Score: A
Sounded a bit Gladiator-esque, but I loved that film and score, too. It seemed to fit really well.

Overall: B-
Overall the film was great, just needed one more critical edit. More Kiera Knightly, more action and I’ll be ready for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End next summer.