So we saw "Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Mans Chest" last night, and let me just say, this movie kicked serious ass.
The action sequences were excellent, the visuals even better, the humor and silliness great.
Only one problem, the movie got MTV-ized. Jump cuts and quick cuts and 12 second long scenes all over the place. The first movie didnt have that problem.
One particular sequence is probably the longest sword fight put on film since the 40s (about 10 minutes). The setup is spectacular, and I'm sure it was intended to top the forge swordfight in the first film (itself the best sword fight on film since '87 and "The Princess Bride), but because of the nature of the scene, the framing of the shots, and the REALLY FRIKKEN IRRITATING editing, it didn't quite match the drama, tension, and realism of the forge scene; though the sheer balls and physicality of the sequence are impressive.
There wasn't a great deal of plot or character developement in this move, pretty much just straightforward adventure; but the story as it was, was a big setup for the third movie where much more promises to be revealed. A HUGE number of plotlines and story arcs were opened up, and pretty much left hanging there; but it wasn't bad writing, it was clearly deliberate. When the third movie comes out ext year (it's filming now), I think we'll see all those nascent plotlines come together.
This is not to say there isn't plenty to watch in this movie. The movie itself was 2 and a half hours long, and it was so packed full of stuff, it makes sense that the story was all a lead in to the next movie; and believe me, from the first few seconds of the movie, til the last, the pace never slows down for one second. They needed every one of those 150 mins just to fit in what they had. More story would have slowed the movie down, and made it even longer.
Depp was excellent, as usual, though he had less to do here than in the original; and unlike her previous outing, Kiera Knightley actually had something to do, and did it reasonably well. Orlando Bloom was less irritating and wooden than usual; and under all the makup and CG, Bill Nighy did a smashing job as Davey Jones.
Overall, the best movie of the summer so far; which may seem a bit like faint praise considering the current crop, but still, a damn fine fantasy adventure comedy.
Oh and for those of you interested in such things, "Dead Mans Chest" has had the highest opening day, and single day grsoses in history at $55 million; and is projected to OPEN to almost 150 million in the first weekend; besting the record set with "Spider Man" by more than 35 million. With an estimated production cost of $225 million, and no major releases set for next weekend, it's a lock the movie will earn out domestically in the opening 10 days, with the expected overseas earnings at least equal to (and more likely far more than) domestic (the original made double domestic grosses overseas).
In contrast, Superman Returns, the other big summer blockbuster, which had a Wednesday Opening (which usually boosts numbers); has only managed $125 million in its first week and a half, and will not earn out it's $260 million production budget in domestic grosses (though it almsot certainly will internationally). The movie will most likely see no profit til the dvd release; and this is in a year with 10 movies over 100 million in the first seven months.
Update: The actual Friday to Sunday number was $132 million, $18 million more than spiderman. It is expected the movie will earn out by the end of next weekend. This brings the combined grosses of the franchise to almost 800 million, and that's just in the sequels first week.
If three hits as big as two, the combination will likely join, or possibly exceed the original star wars trilogy (2.5 billion combined gross without the re-releases, 4 billion with, neither adjusted for inflation which inflates the total to over 6 billion), the second triogy (at 2.5 billion combined gross), and the Lord of the Rings (3 billion combined) , as the top grossing trilogies of all time (depending on how one counts).
Man, what I wouldnt do for a piece of the DVD end eh...