Like last week's Superman Returns, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest has divided the critics about equally, with half suggesting it's a real summer treasure and the other half ready to dump it overboard. On Good Morning America, Joel Siegel called it "the best summer movie of the summer," then qualified his remark by adding, "not the best movie, the best summer movie. ... Your popcorn tastes better, it's that much fun. And all the other wannabe summer blockbusters like Superman have been so serious and glum." Michael Booth in the Denver Post calls it "a sweet umbrella drink leaving no hangover, two hours and 20 minutes of escapism that once again makes the movies safe for guilt-free fun." Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News says that at that length it's too long, but he adds, "Time flies when you're having a good time, and it's hard not to when the action is as spirited, the sets as glorious, the characters as inventive, and the performances -- especially those of returning Johnny Depp and new-to-the-cast Bill Nighy -- as much fun as they are here." Claudia Puig in Newsday writes that the film delivers "a combustible combination of ingredients for a summer blockbuster: a cornucopia of action and dazzling effects, some raucous humor and a large dose of Depp's winning charm." Gene Seymour's praise in Newsday comes more reluctantly. "As long as you accept it for the sprawling live-action, feature-length cartoon that it is, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest will neither disappoint nor drag on the senses," he writes. Likewise Peter Howell in the Toronto Star observes unenthusiastically, "For the most part, the movie strikes gold in the areas that count -- action, adventure and amusement -- while failing to fully capitalize on all the goodwill the first Pirates generated." But other critics have their swords out. Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer remarks that the film "lacks the swash and buckle of the original. And then some." Desson Thomson in the Washington Post maintains that the film "feels forced and hollow -- a repeat performance that's too self-consciously delivered to be charming anymore." Several critics point out that the film has no ending -- just a cliffhanger set up for the next installment due out in May of next year. A.O. Scott in the New York Times concludes that the movie "batters you with novelty and works so hard to top itself that exhaustion sets in long before the second hour is over. By next summer, I suppose, we'll all be rested and ready for more."




07/07/2006