Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”
By attempting to top the original, this sequel wound up making it look even better. Audiences fell in love with the original Pirates not just because of Johnny Depp's flamboyant weirdness but because it was that rare achievement, a massive summer blockbuster that was really good, with intelligence and wonder and obvious care taken by the creative team to craft entertainment of a fine caliber. The sequel, sadly, is exactly what the original wasn't: Big, loud, clunky, and stupid. Here we have characters making bad decisions just to further the plot, action scenes without consequence, amazing sights that don't register in anyone's reactions, and so many pointless plot twists that the movie invites easy parody. Predictably, the production design and animation teams do their jobs admirably, especially in the creation of a wholly-CGI villain who seems more real than the humans appearing beside him, but everyone else phoned in their work so Disney could reap their easy mega-fortune. I have no illusions about the movie industry being a business and everyone involved with this film only doing it for the money, but the first Pirates proved that some filmmakers still take the time to create quality entertainment at this level, and sequel shows how rare that is.