2006 Certificate: 12


Johnny Depp ramps up the camp with the return of barking sea dog Captain Jack Sparrow in the second of Disney's swashbuckling spectacles. Sparrow's taken flight from his half-man/half squid nemesis Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) and old sparring partners Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are along for the ride. After updating us on what the various rogues and lubbers are up to, it's full sail with some stunning CGI setpieces, including a genuinely terrifying vision of a barnacled Flying Dutchman lurching from the depths. A pleasing haul for the eye, and no mistake.


  • Gore Verbinski


  • Johnny Depp

  • Bill Nighy

  • Keira Knightley

  • Orlando Bloom

  • Tom Hollander

  • Mackenzie Crook

  • Naomi Harris

  • Jack Davenport


There haven't been many more memorable recent big screen characters than Johnny Depp's roguish pirate captain Jack Sparrow.

Driving a coaching and four through the received notion that heroes have to be heroic, Depp's approximation of Keef Richards reborn as an addled Caribbean buccaneer was an utter joy.

Here he returns - mincing of gait and as mannered as an old luvvie in provincial rep - to again set sail aboard the bad ship Black Pearl as he takes on foes, both flesh and blood and salt and water.

Keira Knightly - all Cheltenham Ladies College pout - and Orlando Bloom - porcelain-faced but mind a blank - are also back on the bridge...but it's Depp we've all paid our pieces of eight to see.

After being memorably reintroduced (he blasts his way out of a seaborne coffin, taking a crow with him) the action almost stutters to a halt as the audience is confronted with an hour of laboured scene-setting.

Then, with all the story strands nailed, it's full steam ahead as Jack and his nefarious crew find themselves spit-roasted by cannibals, hung in whicker cages over ravines and hunted down by slimy English toffs from the East India Company.

However, Jack's thorniest problem is a blood debt he owes to Davy Jones. Not the lead singer of The Monkees...but the half-man, half-squid commander of the spectral Flying Dutchman.

It's crewed by a skin-crawling crew of half-men, half-molluscs and also houses the Kraken, a terrifying giant squid that can drag a fully-rigged man o'war to the depths leaving behind just an eerily hissing sea.

You can carp about the generous running time or the plot similarity to The Empire Strikes Back, but who really cares when you've got a duel Errol Flynn would give his fencing arm for atop a rolling mill wheel.

Doolally Depp and the adrenalin-pumping setpieces are the draw here...and for the second half of this seaborne swashbuckler it's all plain sailing for action fans as director Gore Verbinski expertly delivers the goods.

An adventure to treasure.

Tim Evans