DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
This film should not have worked.
Let's be honest, the mere suggestion of basing a film on a ride in a theme park is ridiculous. Furthermore, they tried it before with the Haunted Mansion and failed miserably. And yet, here we are, with one of the best pirate adventures ever put to film.
It starts, of course, with the hilarious interpretation of Depp's Jack Sparrow. Where in later films he plagiarizes himself too much, here he's fresh and intriguing. His walk, the way he talks, he just inhabits the character totally.
Opposed to him is the wonderful Rush who is a fantastic villain. I don't think I can ever think of a better Pirate bastard thanks to his performance. It's just perfect in every way.
Sadly, the rest of the cast is instantly forgettable, yet serviceable. All this is besides the point really as this film's script and its director understand what adventure is all about. Impressive set pieces, action sequences that suck you in, humour, and an interesting protagonist and antagonist. It does all that superbly.
This film appeals to the kid in us and I always like it when a film succeeds in doing that. It is a romanticised, fun and memorable adventure! What more do you want?