Pirates of the Caribbean has become quite the cultural phenomenon since its release in 2003, spawning a plethora of popular quotations, Halloween costumes and Happy Meal toys.  Personally, I am not ashamed to admit that I have seen the original film several times.  Its charm lies in its originality; it was unexpectedly mature for a Disney film, and Johnny Depp’s idiosyncratic Captain Jack Sparrow revived the morally ambiguous character of the pirate.

The biggest disappointment of Dead Man’s Chest is that all the originality of the first film has become cliché.  As with most sequels, favorite characters (Mr. Gibbs the drunkard, the talking parrot, and the undead monkey) exaggerate their quirks.  Consequently, what was once humorous is now somewhat tiresome.  Dead Man’s Chest, nevertheless, is a story good enough to fill its 150 minutes with energy and action.

Our romantic duo, Elizabeth and William, have been arrested for helping Jack escape the gallows, and Will strikes a deal to free them both if he can retrieve Jack’s infamous compass.  Jack, however, is busy dodging the devil, literally Davy Jones, who has come to claim the servitude Jack owes him on his gruesome pirate ship.  Fighting various enemies, including a giant sea monster and an evil capitalist, our heroes grapple with their own complex relationships.  All in all, the film offers a clever and entertaining story, and I can honestly say I am looking forward to the final episode.

Dead Man’s Chest contains little problematic content and should not pose a problem for children over thirteen.  Its action scenes are rather violent and may be too graphic for young children.  There are also several instances of sexual innuendo, but they are subtle enough to skip young ears.  As an added bonus, try to pick out as many Catholic references (probably unintended) as you can, including the Rosary, martyrdom, scourging, and the stigmata.