I’m a little hesitant to review this one, because it doesn’t feel like it would be fair to do so until I’ve seen part three and the end of the story. But I’ll put down my initial thoughts anyway.
This is a fun movie. I’m glad I went to see it in the theater, and I’ll definitely go see part three. The special & visual effects were great, especially for Davy Jones and his crew. Exceptional work there. Also had an engaging (if convoluted) plot, and the energy was pretty high throughout the film.
That said, I think it was longer than it needed to be. It seemed like it was trying to reach “epic” status, when “good story” would have done just fine. There was almost no point to the whole cannibals island scene, for example, other than to put the crew together with Orlando Bloom, which could have been accomplished in a shorter timeframe. The first piece with the Carribean “oracle” seemed a bit overblown, too.
Finally, the ending seemed a little flat. Obviously, things are not what they seem, and Jack will somehow escape. No surprise there. I did like the re-introduction of Geoffrey Rush, though they could use a little explanation there. I assume that will happen in the third movie.
One cool thing was the visual homages to the Pirates of the Carribean ride from which the movie is named. There are a couple scenes that incorporate pieces of the ride that were fun to see.
But as I said, the story isn’t finished, and this is decidedly not a stand-alone film, so it’s hard to give it a fair shake at this point. I’ll revisit it next year once I’ve seen PotC III.