The first thing I need to say is that it was at least as much fun as the original, and I'd happily watch it again five or six more times. So what I'm about to say should be taken in an overall sprit of love. I wasn’t disappointed in the film; there were just things about it that disappointed me.
Dr. B already brought up the race/cannibalism/slavery issue so I’ll leave that alone. My disappointments were more in the realm of minor quibbles. Like in the beginning where the prisoner is being eaten alive by crows. Disturbing, icky, and not necessary to move the plot along. That scene alone should have pushed it out of PG and into M if you ask me.
And they missed some opportunities with the score. I mean, it’s all Flying Dutchman this and Flying Dutchman that, but you never hear Wagner’s famous leitmotif – they could have had a lot of fun with that. I mean, bits of the score where someone (not saying who) gets eaten by the Kraken sounded to me like there could be allusions to the Mozart Requiem, so it’s not like the composer was above a bit of classical borrowing.
But I think what really bugged me was Captain Jack Sparrow. I loved him in the first movie for being a charming, but totally amoral narcissist. 100% chaotic neutral. The guy is such a narcicissist, so wrapped up in himself, that he’s practically asexual. At least that’s what I got out of the scene where he and Elizabeth wind up stranded on an island with a cache of rum. He’d rather talk about himself that respond to Elizabeth’s flirtation. The thing about Jack is that you have to love him, but at the same time, he’s enough of a baddie that you can laugh at him when things go wrong. Which, of course, they continue to do in this movie.
So this thing where he seems to be developing actual romantic feelings for Elizabeth just doesn’t work for me. And unfortunately it’s a significant plot element. Not sure how else they could have worked it though.
Still, I’ll watch it several more times, cuz it’s good fun and Orlando Bloom isn’t always wearing his shirt.