Time: 150 Minutes
AWARDS: Won Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. Nominations for Best Art Direction, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing.
SYNOPSIS: Captain Jack Sparrow's life is in debt to the legendary Davey Jones, Captain of the Flying Dutchmen who are supernatural warriors out for blood. Facing possible eternal damnation, Jack must save himself with help from Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann, who need Jack's help to avoid being hanged for setting him free.
BOTTOM LINE: Most second films in a trilogy expand on the overall story and themes, deepen our knowledge of the characters and place the villains and heroes on the path to their inevitable final confrontation. The success of the first film had Disney scrounging for a story to quickly make a second film, which was then basically stretched into two films, so they could have a trilogy.
Despite being two and a half hours long, we learn almost nothing new about our old friends and are given only the briefest, mildly confusing explanations as to why anyone would want the disembodied, still-beating heart of Davy Jones. That being said, the film generates enough interest with superb special effects, a deliciously vicious villain and cleverly, inventive swashbuckling action sequences that show how exciting piracy can be. It's main problem is that it all goes on too long.
If the film were a half hour shorter it's lack of plot would hardly have been noticeable. As it stands, the characters are still entertaining - especially Depp as Sparrow and Nighy as Davy Jones - which makes the trip to nowhere still surprisingly fun. With a few twists and turns at the end, they even managed to generate enough of my interest to want to see how Jack and company escape their doom.