Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.


Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man's Chest

Genre: Action
Rated: PG-13
Directed by
: Gore Verbinski
Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, Geoffrey Rush
Released by: Walt Disney Pictures

In Short: While the whole “Pirates” crew has returned in this first of two sequels to the wonderful original, this one is a distinctly paler imitation.

Buccaneer Redux
Second Sailing Hits Some Choppy Seas
By Jenny Peters

The rollicking ride that “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” took us on three years ago was a movie experience to remember. So clever and funny, even the Academy Awards honored the film with five nominations, including Johnny Depp's much-deserved Best Actor nod for his inspired portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, pirate extraordinaire.

Bringing the main cast and key crew (including producer, director, and writers) back for “Dead Man's Chest” was a wise idea, and the addition of two more great actors, Bill Nighy and Stellan Skarsgård, made sense too. The plot is once again far-fetched but fantastically so, with some excellent adventure scenes and tropical backdrops, as Sparrow tries to avoid paying his debt to Davy Jones and ending up as part of his undead crew of “sea phantoms.”

While there is still plenty of fun to be had with both old and new characters, this sequel just doesn't quite gel. Jack Sparrow is still a rogue, the pirate we all love to love; Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) continues to be feisty and gorgeous; Will (Orlando Bloom) heroic and handsome; and the new bad guys, Davy Jones and his crew of undersea pirates (Nighy, Skarsgård, etc.), are suitably dead/alive and scary. Yet, there is something missing.

It isn't that the movie is bad; in fact, parts of it are very amusing. It is just that the freshness, that spark that made the first such a wonderful romp, is gone, giving the sequel a slightly forced feeling. And this is only part two, with the third installment (“At World's End”) due out next summer, again with all the same principals involved (and actually shot at the same time as “Dead Man's Chest”). Perhaps they saved the best for last?

(Updated: 07/10/06)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

Summer is here! Protect your skin from harmful UV rays all year round with GAYOT's Top 10 Sunscreens.