(out of 5)
Hackneyed sequel to the successful original is only worthwhile as a continued showcase for Johnny Depp‘s immensely likable Captain Jack Sparrow. Orlando Bloom‘s Will Turner is arrested along with his beloved fiancee Elizabeth (Keira Knightley, constantly jutting her lower jaw to honour the Empire) for having aided Sparrow in his escape at the conclusion of the previous film. Their only way to be released of charges is to find Sparrow and retrieve a compass in his possession that leads to the whereabouts of an unearthly treasure connected to phantom pirate Davy Jones. Meanwhile, Sparrow himself owes the debt of his soul to Jones, a nasty villain with an octopus face and a crew of terrifying ghouls, but Sparrow in his traditional prankishness tries to get Turner to honour his debt in his place. What should have been a light and brainless adventure combining the styles of the old Errol Flynn movies with modern day fantasy films is hampered by leaden direction and a script that just never knows when to stop. The film is hopelessly overlong, a convoluted mess that is lifted only by impressive visual effects and a sterling performance by Bill Nighy as the creepy Jones.
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Cinematography by Dariusz Wolski
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Music by Hans Zimmer
Production Design by Rick Heinrichs
Costume Design by Penny Rose