It is usually the case that the second part of a trilogy is less satisfactory or satisfying than either the first, which sucks you in, or the final one which resolves the loose ends and tidies up the plot. Clearly enough, 'Dead Man's Chest' the second of the Depp 'Pirates' sagas falls into this classification, rather like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It is two and a half hours long and it is rather dark to say the least-- featuring the Machiavellian Davy Jones who shows up to tell Jack Sparrow his time is up. There are plenty of ghoulies in this movie like in the first, only more so, and I wouldn't really recommend this movie for children. It is too dark, despite its humor, sight gags, and yet another enjoyable performance by Johnny Depp.
However even Depps swagger, humor, and wonderful facial expressions can not entirely lighten the mood of this movie, which at junctures turns into something of an allegory about how Sparrow has no moral compass, and needs to grow a conscience. There are also some hilarious reflections on life and death by two members of Sparrow's crew, with the one eyed man being something of a philosopher. This is only just a little more surprising than the portrayal of Davy Jones as a maniacal organist.
Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley both reprise their roles admirably and well, but in the end the movie stands or falls with Depp, and we really needed more in depth Depp in this movie than we got. Then too, even for an action film, there was too many totally impossible actions scenes for one to willingly suspend one's disbelief in every case. Something should have been learned from the overkill of this sort of stuff in the King Kong remake. Hopefully there are still some better summer movies than this yet in store, but this one has enough redeeming features to make it worth watching. Part three which has already been filmed (made at the same time as part 2), will hopefully put the fun and swash back in the buckle of this series of films.